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Here to Stay: T21 Implementation and FDA Execution

As reported last month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved legislation to change the legal age for purchasing tobacco and tobacco-related products to 21. The new federal minimum age applies to all retail establishments and persons, including military personnel; and includes tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and hookahs.


Tobacco 21 Legislation (T21) was originally targeted for implementation in 2020, but was promptly enacted with the start of new year. Following an FDA-granted adaptation period, the organization is now executing nationwide compliance check inspections using individuals under 21 to determine retailer compliance of the new legislation. It is the on-going expectation of the FDA that retailers verify the age of tobacco and tobacco-related products purchasers under the age of 27. No sunset provisions are planned for T21.


As with all FDA-related developments linked to the lawful sale of age-sensitive products, The BARS Program is committed to providing timely and factual updates. If you have questions, or want to engage in The BARS’ compliance-training to ensure the lawful sale of tobacco and alcohol in your area, please contact us at or call 1-877-540-5500. Visit to learn more about The BARS Program.


Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Tobacco 21

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