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Starting July 1, most Virginia teens won’t be allowed to buy tobacco and nicotine vapor

RICHMOND, Va. — A new law that raising the minimum age to buy tobacco, nicotine vapor, and alternative nicotine products in Virginia from 18 to 21 years old will go into effect July 1. The law however does not apply to all Virginia smokers and vapers.

The new law allows active duty military aged 18 or older, with a valid military ID, to purchase nicotine products.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is reminding stores to replace signs reflecting the outgoing 18 and up law.

“It’s important for nicotine product retailers to be aware of this new law and post the appropriate signage by July 1,” Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill said. “As the commonwealth authority responsible for enforcement of laws pertaining to alcohol and nicotine products,
Virginia ABC offers free training to help alcohol and nicotine product retailers to better understand this new law, as well as other ABC rules and regulations.”

Vaping has increased nearly 80 percent among high schoolers and 50 percent among middle schoolers since 2017, according to data released last year by the FDA in conjunction with the CDC.

“Raising the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21 is a common sense way to address this escalating public health concern,” Delegate Christopher Stolle, M.D. (R-Virginia Beach) said. “This legislation will help to reverse that trend and I thank my colleagues for their support.”

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