Smoking age being raised to 21 gains mixed opinions from smokers, businesses


OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)– A new law that ups the smoking age from 18 to 21 was recently signed by President Trump. We talked to more than a dozen business owners and we heard two or three different interpretations of the law. Some business owners are still selling to 18-year-olds, some are not

Some business owners say the law has no effective date and they believe it could take the FDA up to six months to publish a final ruling. They say that puts the new law in a gray area.

For Sam, there was no question about the law. You must be 21 years old to buy tobacco products in his store.

“I changed the signs as soon as I heard the law changed, I changed the signs,” said Sam Koliopouios, owner of Ted’s Liquor Store.

Josh French and Jade Sprinkle have been smoking for about a year and now the new law makes it illegal for them to light up.

“I don’t feel like it’s fair at least grandfather us in we shouldn’t, if you turn 18 before January of 2020 then you should be able to smoke,” said Sprinkle.

Josh is 19, he’s working to quit smoking he sees both sides of the argument he says the increased age limit could be a good thing.

“I think there are some benefits to it a lot of people there a little angry about but I think when you look at it the health with the body development I think it’s going to be better for the body,” said French.

Government officials say raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 will save hundreds of thousands of lives.


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