July 16, 2019
The anticipated Delaware law raising the legal age for state residents to buy and smoke tobacco products signed by Gov. John Carney in April goes into effect on Tuesday.
The new law raises the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 and restricts retailers from selling and adults from purchasing tobacco products for those under age and threatens a fine of up to $1,000 if caught doing so, the Delaware News Journal reports.
Delaware is the 17th state in the U.S. to pass such a regulation.
The new law was propelled forward, in part, by the epidemic levels of teen vaping, which health officials and youth advocates, alike, are trying to combat in the state, the Journal reports.
One anti-tobacco youth advocate, Teayra Bowden, 17, a senior at Mount Pleasant High School, tells the Journal:
“The more I learned about how this affects your health, the more passionate I became,” she said. “It’s important to have laws like this. The more you become educated the more you can help your peers.”
“We are all responsible to make sure we are preventing young people from ever smoking. The longer we can prevent them from smoking, the more likely they will not pick up this addiction," Deborah Brown, chief mission officer for the American Lung Association, told the Journal.