US to raise minimum smoking age to 21

The US Congress has voted to raise the minimum age for smoking and vaping in the country to 21.

The law covers all nicotine products, including both traditional tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.

President Donald Trump will now sign the bill into law, after which it is expected to come into effect in 2020.

The decision follows an announcement from the president last month that the US government was looking into raising the minimum legal age to fight the apparent rise in popularity of vaping among teenagers.

“We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so,” Trump said.

States take action

Although the current minimum smoking age is 18, BuzzFeed noted that many US states have already raised their local legal smoking ages to 21.

In light of a recent spike in cases of “vape lung”, which resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people, several states also placed bans on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.

Instagram has also banned influencers from promoting vaping products on its platform.

Studies have shown that vaping can be safer for your health than traditional smoking, but that it still poses a bigger health risk than abstaining completely.

Now read: Instagram cracks down on vaping influencers

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US to raise minimum smoking age to 21