Sen. Tim Kaine proposes legislation to raise federal tobacco age from 18 to 21

HENRICO, Vir. (WWBT) – Senator Tim Kaine is proposing raising the federal tobacco age from 18 to 21 to help curb the youth vaping epidemic.

Kaine held a roundtable with Virginia health leaders in Henrico, Virginia Monday.

He’s proposing the bill with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Tobacco Free Youth Act.

Kaine says it would include all tobacco products, provide no exemptions for groups, such as the military, and would not pre-empt stronger state laws.

Virginia passed a law this year to raise the age to 21.

Kaine said that’s good because it helps with enforcement. “The progress that we’ve made in youth smoking has been completely turned around because of vaping and e-cigarettes, so decades of working on public health has been erased because of e-cigarettes and the vaping epidemic. That’s kind of galling.”

Kaine said the FDA is not doing enough to change the flavoring and marketing of e-cigarettes that attract teens.

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