Tobacco 21 and Medications to stop smoking

Blog Post created by NDC_Team on Jan 23, 2020

You probably are aware that ‘Tobacco 21’ was signed into federal law in December, and went into effect as of January 1, 2020.  This is a good thing.  The National Academy of Medicine in a report issued in 2015 estimated that this law would reduce smoking initiation among people ages 15-17 by 25% and among those age 18-21 by 15%; eventually resulting in more than 200,000 saved lives for people born since the year 2000.


The purchasing restrictions include all types of tobacco including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snus and dissolvable nicotine products.  It also restricts sales for anyone under 21 of all types of vapes and e-cigarettes, including e-liquids and components intended for use in an electronic smoking device such as mechanical heating elements, batteries or tanks.


A question was raised about how this might affect people between ages of 18 and 21 who might be tobacco addicted and suffer from craving and withdrawal symptoms.  The new regulation does not include medications, like nicotine replacement, Chantix, or Zyban, that can alleviate craving and withdrawal and help people to stop smoking or vaping.  Again, good news from our perspective.


Would be interested in hearing any thoughts or experiences people in the community might be having with the new Tobacco 21 regulation.


Michael V. Burke, Ed.D

Program Director and NDC Counselor/ CTTS