The Vermont House gave preliminary approval to the bill regarding age restriction for buying, selling and possessing cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco products on July 2, 2019. With the bill coming into effect from September 1, 2019, the minimum age will be raised from 18 to 21. Inability to comply with the legislated terms will result in a fine of $25 and confiscation of the subject items.
A visible delay in the implementation of the bill is because an agreement still needs to be reached between both houses as the Senate version of the bill has an implementation date of July 1, 2019, while that of House has the implementation date of September 1, 2019. An agreement on a date will be followed by the approval of the Governor.
The Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson declared the issue of age an economic and health issue at large. “We know that in order to keep Vermont kids away from tobacco products, we need to keep tobacco products out of the middle and high school supply chain,” he remarked.
Apart from the bill increasing minimum age, the Vermont House has passed two other bills as well in order to ensure young adults and teenagers are kept away from this addiction. According to one bill, an increase of 92% tax has been imposed on tobacco products, including e-cigarettes while the other bill puts a ban on the sale of tobacco, nicotine and substitute products without a license.
This ban is applicable to internet sellers as well as wholesalers. Both of these bills are pending in the Senate for approval.