New federal law raises legal tobacco buying age to 21 (Audio)

PIERRE, S.D.–The US Food & Drug Administration says the federal minimum age to legally purchase tobacco products has been bumped up from 18 to 21 years old, effective immediately.

South Dakota Retailers Association executive director Nathan Sanderson says usually with such law changes, there’s a long waiting period. But, this time, the FDA has ruled the legislation signed just before Christmas became effective immediately….

Although South Dakota state law has not yet been updated to align with the federal law, Sanderson says retailers should follow FDA guidance and make changes at their stores….

He says the timeline is bound to cause some confusion….

The FDA says it will provide additional information as details are worked out.