Tobacco Sales Laws

The laws aim to prevent the initial introduction of tobacco and nicotine use and prevent a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for one of every five deaths. Alarmingly, more than 90% of adult smokers began smoking before 18 years of age . Every day, approximately 1,000 persons younger than 18 begin smoking , of whom one-third will die prematurely of tobacco-related illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states the nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily first try smoking by age 18, and 99% first try smoking by age 26. Science and statistics show that tobacco use has a significant, negative impact on the physical and mental health development of adolescents: they are more likely to drink, use other drugs, and engage in high-risk sexual behavior; twice as likely to suffer from depression; and more likely to report panic attacks and general anxiety orders.

Federal Tobacco Sales Laws

Federal Minimum Age of Sale of Tobacco Products is 21. On Dec. 20, 2019, the President Trump signed legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raising the federal minimum age for sale of tobacco products to 21 years.

Pennsylvania Tobacco Sales Law (Act112)

In 2002, Pennsylvania’s Act 112 amended Section 6305 of the Crimes Code and created new fines for clerks and owners of tobacco retail stores. In November of 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that prohibits the sale of any tobacco, nicotine or related item to anyone under 21 years of age.