Grand Strand reacts as tobacco age limit raised to 21

News13 Digital First

SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – The federal government has raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products nationwide.

The change- which is part of the the federal government’s $1.4 trillion budget- raises the minimum age to buy from 18 to 21.

Some stores have already posted signs alerting customers to the new restriction.

“It just kind of showed up in our system,” Summer Mason said. She works at a Turtle Market in Socastee, which has a sign posted. “I don’t know if all the stores have put it into effect yet, but better safe than sorry, so we went ahead.”

Products like cigarettes, JUUL cartridges and chewing tobacco are all included in the regulation.

Mason said some people have gotten angry they can no longer buy these things.

“I had a younger girl yesterday that was very agitated over it but ultimately there’s nothing I can do about it,” she said.

Some don’t agree with the heightened restriction.

“I think its ridiculous,” Robert Watford said. “If a person is old enough to go into the service and risk their lives to keep this country free- you come back home and can’t go into a store to buy cigarettes because they’re 18, 19. I don’t understand that.”

Others say it’s a good way to discourage younger people from picking up the habit.

“I been quit for four years,” Jeff Futrell said. “I smoked four packs a day. “It’s the hardest habit you’ll ever have to break.”

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