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The tobacco21 provision in the gov’t spending/tax extenders bill that the President signed into law last Friday required that within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, the Department of Health and Human Services must issue a final rule that changes all references to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the Federal Code from 18 to 21. It also stated that the final rule must go into effect within 90 days from when it is published.  However, in a statement posted on FDA’s website today, the agency said the tobacco21 law is effective immediately, meaning it is now illegal for stores to sell tobacco products, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.

The FDA states: “Note: On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product—including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes—effective December 20, 2019.

MPMA’s advice is that retailers should make every effort to comply immediately with T21. Also, the Association has reached out to Minnesota Attorney General’s office to receive clarification on the issue. We will pass on this information as soon as it is received.

In addition, NATO (National Association of Tobacco Outlets) has developed a Notice that can be used to distribute/notify your customers of the new T21 law.  Notice of Federal Age 21 Sign2

In addition to the tobacco provision, the law renews the nine cents per barrel Oil Spill Liability Tax (OSLT) on a prospective basis effective January 1, 2020. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Association Office and we will be able to assist you.

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