Harm reduction starts with preventing underage use of all tobacco products. Today, underage use of conventional tobacco products is at the lowest levels in a generation. However, increases in youth usage of e-vapor have threatened to undermine the hard-fought gains made in preventing underage use.

For decades, we have advocated for strong underage prevention legislation federally and in the states. This has included lobbying efforts to persuade states to expand their minimum age laws to include e-vapor products before the FDA asserted jurisdiction over these products.

Following an unacceptable increase in underage vaping rates, we led the industry in advocating for Congress to raise the federal minimum age to 21. Because the large majority of high school e-vapor users get e-vapor products from social sources, increasing the legal age of purchase to 21 ensures fewer social access points in high schools and will help reduce underage use of e-vapor. See an example of our advocacy materials on this issue. That bipartisan legislation became law at the end of 2019 and applies to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and moist snuff tobacco.

We have also strongly supported states making the same change in their laws, to bring state and federal minimum age policy into alignment. As of October 2021, 39 states plus Washington, D.C., accounting for 84% of the U.S. population, have raised their tobacco product minimum age laws to 21 to conform with federal law. We lobbied in favor of every minimum age bill enacted in the states in the past two years, 27 in all. We continue to lobby on this issue in the 16 states that have not yet made this important change in policy.

Moving Beyond Smoking

Moving Beyond Smoking

Altria’s companies are leading the way in moving adult smokers away from cigarettes – by taking action to transition millions toward potentially less harmful choices. Learn More

Prevent Underage Use

We share a commitment with public health, policy makers and other stakeholders.

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