By December 30, 2019 Read More →

Federal smoking age change unclear to some W.Va. businesses

By TRAVIS CRUM, The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In Huntington, confusion and a lack of details surround a new law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

That new law has officially gone into effect, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At least 19 states had already raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products, but West Virginia had not.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed a spending bill to keep the government operating and to stave off another shutdown crisis. That sweeping bill granted federal employees paid paternity leave, allocated money for Trump’s planned Space Force branch of the military and officially raised the legal age to buy tobacco, among other things.

On Friday, the FDA updated its tobacco retail guidelines to state: “It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available.”

However, those details were not immediately clear to some retail establishments in Huntington. Some business owners and employees said they felt out of the loop on the sudden change in the law. …

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