Beginning today, you must be 21 to purchase tobacco products in the State of Delaware. Senate Bill 25 went into effect at midnight. This legislation was strongly supported by Governor Carney and the final measure approved by the General Assembly also repeals the ability of a parent or guardian to purchase tobacco products or tobacco substitutes for a minor and will impose a civil penalty for sales to individuals between the ages of 18 and 21. Anyone under the age of 21 is also prohibited from entering vapor establishments – however a person under the age of 21 who are employed by a vapor establishment on the effective date of this Act, which is today, to continue working at the vapor establishment if the vapor establishment provides the required documentation to the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.
The measure was a partisan vote in the State House with all the GOP members and Democrat Representative William Carson of Smyrna voting against the bill. The vote in the State Senate saw three GOP members support the measure.
At least 16 states – including Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia – have increased the smoking age to 21 along with Washington, DC and hundreds of other localities – some now in states that have also raised the legal age to 21.