LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The age limit has changed for buying, selling and using tobacco products in the U.S.
Last month, President Donald Trump signed Tobacco 21 into law, raising the legal age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationwide.
"We have preemptively made the age here 21," said Troy LeBlanc, president of Derb E Cigs and a strong proponent of reducing underage vaping. "We were never against T-21. What we were against was a T-21 overnight."
Leblanc said it has been a few weeks, but he and a lot of other retailers are still trying to clear the air about the new law and what is expected from retailers.
"We have heard things from the National Convenience Store Association that it is 21," he said. "We have heard from some people that it is a six-month compliance. So, we really don't know what is going on.
"One day, we saw a tweet that just said, 'Now you have to be 21 to buy tobacco.'"
It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under the age of 21 years.— FDA Tobacco (@FDATobacco) December 21, 2019
"They need to comply with the law right away," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky.
Chandler said the organization supported passage of tobacco 21.
"We are very excited about it and we think it'll have a big impact," Chandler said. "We're talking about establishing patterns at a younger age. Almost everybody who smokes starts before age 18. So, if we can get them to age 18 or 19, there's a really good chance they won't smoke, at all, for the rest of their lives."
LeBlanc said he's still waiting on proper signage but will continue to follow federal guidelines.
"We're always going to do the right thing," LeBlanc said. "We looked into ordering it last week, and we're still waiting for our 21 signage."
Now that Tobacco 21 is officially on the books, enforcement could start any day.
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