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Delaware Senate Ups Age to Buy Tobacco Products

Don Rush

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

A bill was approved on a 14-6 vote Tuesday and now goes to the House.

The legislation would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

Retailers caught selling tobacco to a person under 18 would be slapped with criminal fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Those caught selling to people over 18 but under 21 would be subject to civil penalties of similar amounts.

While targeting sellers, the legislation eliminates current punishments for minors who try to buy tobacco. Currently, a minor can be found delinquent in such cases, be fined $50 and ordered to perform community service.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.