Legislation

Maryland Ups Tobacco-Purchase Age to 21, Military Personnel Exempt

May 14, 2019 | By Andrew Nagy
Maryland Ups Tobacco-Purchase Age to 21, Military Personnel Exempt

Starting this fall, if you’re looking to purchase tobacco products in the state of Maryland you will have to be at least 21 years old. That is, unless you can prove you are a member of the military.

Yesterday, Gov. Larry Hogan broke with some of his Republican colleagues and signed a bill that raises the legal age to purchase tobacco products in Maryland from 18 to 21 years old. The new law, which applies to all types of tobacco products, including handmade cigars, will go into effect in October.

Maryland is the 13th state to raise its minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Unlike other states, however, Maryland’s 21-and-older law includes an exemption for military personnel. Members of the military who are able to provide valid identification that shows they are over 18 years old will still be able to buy tobacco products.

Hiking the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 has become a hot-button issue in recent years, both at the state and federal levels. Just last month, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he plans to file a bill that will seek to raise the federal legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.

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