Indiana officially raises age to buy tobacco products to 21 on July 1st

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 8:31 PM EDT
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A number of new Indiana state laws go into effect at the start of next month including one that increases the legal age for buying tobacco products.

The minimum age to buy nicotine products in Indiana will officially change from 18 to 21 on July 1st.

This means retailers are prohibited from selling cigarettes, e-liquids, and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21.

This is something vendors say they started getting used to when the federal age increased at the end of 2019.

"We just prepared that we're going to have to I.D. people especially if they look more youthful. Make sure that they are older than 21. Initially the reaction from people who are under 21 was frustration. They desired to be able to purchase nicotine products," said gas station clerk Victor Pellico.

The new law doubles fines for selling nicotine products to underage users.

New tobacco retail businesses can receive a 'C' misdemeanor for operating within 1,000 feet of elementary or middle schools.

The bill also says businesses can be charged with a B'' misdemeanor for selling any products with vitamin E acetate, an ingredient linked to deaths from vaping.

Pellico says the public adjusted to the new age requirement over time.

"We saw a slight reduction in sales. Overall the public adjusted pretty well. After the first month the frustration levels seemed to go down," he said.

Retailers now facing harsher penalties for violating the law.

The new law also applies to vaping liquids that don't contain nicotine.