On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The amendment raised the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21. This amendment became effective immediately. As of December 20, 2019, it is illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under the age of 21.
FDA has free resources available to assist retailers in calculating the age of customers. Retailers who use FDA’s This is Our Watch digital age verification calendar may update the minimum purchase age on the calendar to 21 years. Instructions on how to update the age on the digital calendar are available on FDA’s website. Retailers who would like a This is Our Watch digital age verification calendar may order one free of charge from FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Exchange Lab.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. In Wyoming alone, it claims approximately 800 lives each year and creates nearly $240 million in annual healthcare costs directly attributed to smoking and nearly $450 million in total productivity losses. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined – and many more die from other tobacco-related causes such as fires caused by smoking and smokeless tobacco use. (WYSAC Tobacco Prevention and Control Evaluation, 2016)
Using a comprehensive, multi-strategy approach that incorporates prevention and education, the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) focuses activities on four priorities which include reducing youth initiation, reducing exposure to second hand smoke, promoting smoking cessation, and targeting disparate populations. The majority of activities directed towards the accomplishment of these goals are carried out by community-based prevention programs in all 23 Wyoming counties to include the Wind River Indian Reservation. Communities funded by the TPCP utilize the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) model.