The Idaho Senate reportedly voted to adopt a bill that increases the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 years to 21 years.
Nearly a year after the Idaho Senate killed legislation to increase the minimum legal sales age, the same body just advanced a similar bill doing just that.
The Idaho Press reports that Senate Bill 1087 will now advance to the House of Representatives. 21 years, if the bill passes, will be the primary age for consumers to purchase tobacco products like cigarettes and deemed products like e-cigarettes.
State Sen. Kelly Anthon, a Republican representing the community of Burley, sponsored the bill to align the Idaho state code with federal law, which was changed under the former President Donald Trump in 2019. The bill also passed 25 to 10.
Anthon previously opposed attempts to increase the minimum legal sales age even after the federal age rose to 21 years. However, he changed his tune.
“It’s an inconsistency that can get lost on the public,” Anthon said in a statement. “It’s hard for them to understand the interplay that takes place.”
Sen. Grant Burgoyne, a Democrat representing a portion of Boise, said that the bill would subject people under the age of 21 to stop and search measures by law enforcement due to an infraction clause placed in the current state code.
“I feel like that is a very significant infringement on your freedom,” Burgoyne said.
The bill now heads to the House side, where it will face a strange debate but will likely pass.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently regulates the minimum legal sales age at the federal level, which currently stands at 21 years, as reported.
The FDA noted that it began conducting compliance checks with individuals under the age of 21 “now that a reasonable transition period has concluded.”
Those checks can lead to fines, but according to local media, it isn’t as extensive as local laws and proposals like Senate Bill 1087.
Idaho is the latest state to advance so-called Tobacco 21 legislation at the state level.