New Age to Purchase Tobacco Across the Country

Local News

At some gas stations today around town, if you’re under 21, alcohol wasn’t the only item not available for purchase.

According to the FDA, a new law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21.

Exactly a week ago, President Donald Trump signed into a law a spending bill avoiding a government shutdown, and tucked into that bill was a new rule.

“We found out this morning when I got to work at 8. This morning is when we found out the law was passed and we had to enforce it today, right away,” explained Amy Anton, an employee at Landers Shell and Northside Market in Bismarck.

The FDA said, “It is now illegal to sell any tobacco product- including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes- to anyone under 21.”

But many people are unaware of the new change.

“We’ve already had probably three or four customers that we’ve had to turn away this morning because when we carded them we weren’t allowed to tell to them because they were between 18 and 21. And they had no idea. They were completely confused,” shared Anton.

Landers Shell off Highway 83 and Interstate 94 has already implemented changes to enforce this new federal law.

“So we were able to go into our main system and change the date, change the age requirement from tobacco from 18 to 21,” explained Anton.

While retailers are adapting to the new change, North Dakotans have mixed emotions about the new initiative.

“I think it’s unfortunate that people had their choices taken away from them. And that nobody was talked to about the 18 to 21-year-old age. It just kind of got passed overnight. And they need to just come up with a better solution,” shared Bismarck resident, Courtney Englehart.

“It’s a good thing the age has been raised to 21 because it will make it harder for young people to get access and maybe they’ll think twice about the consequences,” shared Standing Rock resident, Sundance Archer.

Prior to the spending bill, 19 states had already passed their own laws raising the age.

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