Delaware House Approves Upping Tobacco Buying Age

Apr 12, 2019

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved a bill raising the legal age to buy tobacco products in Delaware from 18 to 21.

House members voted 25-16 for the measure Thursday, with one Democrat joining Republican opponents.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

Retailers caught selling any tobacco product or tobacco substitute to someone under 18 would face criminal fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Those caught selling to people over 18 but under 21 would face civil penalties of similar amounts.

The bill eliminates an existing provision allowing parents or guardians to buy tobacco for minors, as well as existing penalties for underage buyers, meaning only sellers would be targeted.

Amendments to keep penalties for underage buyers and to exempt active-duty military members failed to win House approval.