New Delaware law that raises smoking age to 21 takes effect

( Photo by Basil MK/Pexels )

A law in Delaware that raises the legal age for smoking and buying tobacco products goes into effect Tuesday.

Gov. John Carney signed the law in April, which increases the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

The Delaware News Journal reports the state joins 16 others with similar legislation that prohibits retailers from selling and adults from purchasing tobacco for minors. There's a $1,000 fine for breaking the new law.

The legislation comes as health officials say youth vaping has hit epidemic levels. The law encompasses e-cigarettes and vapes with anything derived from tobacco or containing nicotine.

Last week, a U.S. judge in Maryland mandated e-cigarette makers and importers submit applications for their products to the Food and Drug Administration within 10 months, in an effort to protect young people.