FDA clarifies confusion on new tobacco laws

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

As most of us know, a new federal law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. After some confusion by both retailers and consumers, the FDA cleared up some unanswered questions.

“The biggest thing we were worried about is the fact that we couldn’t get a straight answer. We actually contacted the FDA personally, and the FDA actually told us yes, it is 21 and above as of right now to purchase any tobacco product,” said Jacob Campbell, Manager at Big E’s Vapor Shop.

When the bill was passed, it was unclear how long retailers would have to transition to the new rules. Many were hoping there would be a grace period, giving them time to change policies and communicate the changes to their customers.

But after confirming with the FDA that all changes are immediate, it was time for Jacob Campbell and the team at Big E’s Vapor Shop to get to work. 

“The only thing that’s changed on the signs so far is what they told us to do was to go ahead and put 21 instead of 18. We just put this sign right in the view of the public eye as you’re walking in so it says adults only, 21 and over, anyone under the age of 21 is strictly prohibited from entering the premises,” said Campbell. 

Even though the sudden change was a shock to many, some people think it’s a good thing. 

“Less lung cancer. Less children smoking and vaping maybe. Harder for my kids to get to it, that’s for sure. They’re still gonna find ways but it makes it a little bit more difficult,” said Samantha Crawshaw, a Wichita resident.     

Campbell said he sees both sides of the issue, but his biggest concern is the effect the change will have on business. 

“I do believe overall it’s gonna hit the company pretty hard,” said Campbell.  

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