U.S. PIRG statement in response to Sen. McConnell introducing bill to raise tobacco purchasing age to 21

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


WASHINGTON D.C.-Today, U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Tim Kaine introduced the Tobacco-Free Youth Act, which would raise the federal minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old. 

Matt Wellington, Director of U.S. PIRG’s End the Nicotine Trap Campaign, issued the following statement in response:

“The epidemic of youth vaping has erased progress in recent years to reduce tobacco use among America’s young people. We applaud Sen. McConnell and Sen. Kaine for taking aim at this problem.

But lawmakers can do more to ensure that kids don’t fall into the nicotine trap and protect them from a lifetime struggle with addiction. Four out of five kids that have used tobacco started with a flavored product. That’s why U.S. PIRG supports the SAFE Kids Act, a bill introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin that would restrict kid-friendly e-cigarette flavors and ban cigar flavors altogether.”