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Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Tim Kaine push FDA to implement new legal tobacco age

Posted at 11:00 AM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 12:41:11-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LEX 18) — Senators Mitch McConnell and Tim Kaine are pushing the FDA to issue the guidance needed to fully implement and enforce a change to the tobacco age from 18 to 21.

In 2019, the duo successfully worked together to pass their legislation to raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21.

Specifically, the senators requested that the FDA respond within two weeks with information regarding when a final rule will be issued to update regulations to conform with their legislation and how they plan to complete compliance checks to ensure the rule is enforced.

“There have already been significant delays in the rulemaking process and limited communication about these delays, resulting in a lack of clarity on enforcement. We urge the FDA to act swiftly to issue a final rule and to increase transparency around enforcement of Tobacco 21,” said the senators in a letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey found that more than 2 million US teens say they use e-cigarettes. A quarter of those teens said they use e-cigarettes on a daily basis.

Full text of the letter is available here.