Age limit to purchase tobacco increasing in Virginia

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VIRGINIA (WVVA) The Tobacco 21 law will go in effect in Virginia next month.

According to tobacco21.org, Virginia will join 14 other states who have raised the legal tobacco sale age limit to 21 years old.

A change sparking conflicting arguments in the two Virginias.

“Well I think it probably should be raised to 21, ya know? Everything should be based on taking care of yourself,” said Kevin Rieber.

Joeseph Rolison said, “I think it would be extremely difficult if there are disparate laws in the two states. However well intentioned it might be to try to encourage more reflection from young people before they take part in tobacco… they’re going to find a way – clearly it won’t take much to cross the border… So it’s probably something done in name only.”

A similar bill was rejected in the state of West Virginia in March, keeping the age limit at 18 years old.

Tobacco retailers on the Virginia side of the state line are worried some customers will simply stop coming to their store.

All Virginia retailers that sell tobacco products (including vending machines) are required to have posted notice of the minimum age requirements.

The new law excludes active-duty military with a valid military ID. Persons fitting those standards may purchase tobacco products at the age of 18.

Rachel Anderson

Rachel Anderson

Multimedia Journalist

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