Wisconsin Seeks to Adopt Tobacco 21

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want a higher tobacco and vaping purchase age.

November 08, 2019

MADISON, Wis.—Both Democrat and Republican legislators are working to increase the minimum purchase age for vaping and tobacco products in Wisconsin from 18 to 21, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The state currently doesn’t have a minimum age to purchase vaping products that have no nicotine.

In Wisconsin, Assembly Bill 422 has bipartisan support for passage, but that doesn’t mean the bill will pass without opposition from both parties. Rep. John Nygren said that with 18 being the legal voting and military service age, he believes the smoking age should stay 18. “Should we be talking about taking away the right to vote until 21 because the brain isn’t developed?” he said. “You think you get some peer pressure with voting sometimes maybe?”

Rep. John Spiros introduced the proposal, which has the support of JUUL Labs and Altria. “I think at some point they recognize there will be regulation and they would rather get ahead of it,” he said when noting the industry backing for the bill.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the measure. Already, 18 states have 21 as the legal tobacco buying age for all tobacco products.