On December 20, federal legislation was signed by President Trump raising the age for sales of tobacco products from age 18 to 21 under federal law.

This new federal legislation bars retailers from selling tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes, to anyone under age 21.

Current Iowa Code Sections 453A.2 and 453A.3 provide criminal and civil penalties for violations of purchase/attempted purchase/possession of tobacco products and vapor products by persons under age 18, and for giving, selling or supplying these products to persons under age 18.

While this change makes it illegal to sell tobacco products under federal law, it does not create a state law offense for sales of covered tobacco products to 18, 19 and 20-year olds. Furthermore, the new federal law also does not create a state law offense for possession, use, purchase or attempt to purchase barred tobacco products by persons 18, 19 and 20 years old.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is currently working to determine how this federal law change interacts with state law.

Following clarification and further guidance from the Federal Drug Administration, additional information will be released.

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