Tobacco 21 is a grassroots movement that seeks to raise the minimum legal age of sale for ALL tobacco products from 18 to 21.  In November 2019, Tobacco 21 was signed into law in Pennsylvania! The law officially went into effect on July 1, 2020. Congrats, PA!  #UpTheAgePA

Tobacco 21 also passed on the federal level as of December 2019, meaning the tobacco sales age has now been raised from 18 to 21 across the U.S. #UpTheAge

About Tobacco 21

What is Tobacco 21?

Tobacco 21 is the initiative pushing to raise the legal age of sale for ALL tobacco products from 18 to 21.  Thanks to all of the hard  work of our advocates, Tobacco 21 was signed into law by Gov. Wolf in November 2019. The law went into effect in Pennsylvania on July 1, 2020.  What’s included in the bill?

  • Pros:
    • Tobacco sales age will be raised from 18 to 21.
    • ALL tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, are included.
  • Cons:
    • Military Exemption – the law does not apply to anyone who joins the military or is a veteran and under 21.

To learn more about Tobacco 21, take a look at our Advocacy Toolkit.

Federal Tobacco 21

After nearly 20 states and over 500 localities increased the tobacco sales age, Tobacco 21  passed on the federal level and was enacted by the FDA as of December 20, 2019. The tobacco sales age is now 21 across the United States!

What was the Regional Tobacco 21 Campaign?

To help #UpTheAge, tobacco prevention youth groups from Pennsylvania (TRU), West Virginia (RAZE) and Maryland worked together to increase the legal age of sale for ALL tobacco products from 18 to 21 in each state. Tobacco 21 passed successfully in both Pennsylvania and Maryland and was introduced in West Virginia.

How was this accomplished?

Teens across the three states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia learned more about the Tobacco 21 movement and were able to empower and engage their peers through various events such as the Tobacco 21 Leadership Summit in September 2018, Tobacco 21 Uprising activities, and social media engagement. On social media, a storm was created by using the hashtag, #UpTheAge!

How can I get involved?

  1.  Join us in creating awareness about the new Tobacco 21 law by sharing this information on social media using the hashtag #UpTheAgePA to start a social media storm and tag us @TRUinPA!
  2. Participate in other TRU Storms.
  3. Apply to be a leader within TRU as an official Youth Ambassador

Tobacco 21 Kickoff Event

Youth ambassadors from across the three states of PA, WV and MD worked together to increase awareness about Tobacco 21 and why it’s so important to raise the legal age of all for all tobacco products from 18 to 21. On September 29-30, 2018, we held our first Tobacco 21 Kickoff event at Wisp Resort in Maryland, hosting a total of 12 leaders from PA, WV and MD! At this kickoff event, the youth ambassadors were trained to learn how they can become great advocates for Tobacco 21 in their communities! As the forefront of this campaign, the Tobacco 21 Youth Ambassadors collaborated to increase awareness and educate others about Tobacco 21 through several “Uprisings”! These uprisings included activities such as social media videos and postcard petitions!

Thanks to their efforts, Tobacco 21 legislation was introduced in West Virginia, and Tobacco 21 passed in Pennsylvania and Maryland in 2019!

Congrats to all the states and everyone involved!