image description

Bill would bring state in compliance with federal law on minimum tobacco sales age

February 13th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

A bill that would follow federal law and raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21 in West Virginia is making its way through the Senate but may face some obstacles among legislators as it has in the past.

Senate Bill 266 would not only officially raise the age to 21 but also further eliminate tobacco use in schools, prohibit the use of lit tobacco products in a motor vehicle while individuals 16 years of age or under are present and designate prohibited areas of regulation of tobacco, tobacco-derived products, and alternative nicotine products for political subdivisions.

The bill is now in the Senate Finance Committee after being sent from the Health and Human Resources Committee.

Currently, under federal law, cigarettes or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cannot be purchased in the state if under the age of 21. However, West Virginia is one of only nine states that still has laws on the books that set the age at 18 years old.