Legislators seek enforcement of age limits on tobacco sales

New Mexico

FILE – In this Monday, July 18 2007, file photo, Charlie Williams, a resident of Canton, Ga., and working in Gallup, N.M., takes a drag of a cigarette at the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, N.M. Vaping shops and other tobacco retail outlets in New Mexico would be licensed and regulated by the state for the first time, under a proposal headed toward a decisive state House vote. The Senate-approved bill would license retail tobacco vendors and apply administrative sanctions against prohibited sales to youths under age 21. A House panel on health policy endorsed the bill Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, setting up a House floor vote. (Brian Leddy/Gallup Independent via AP)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state legislators are embracing a proposal for more strenuous enforcement of new federal restrictions on retail tobacco sales to youths amid rising rates of vaping among children and young adults.

The federal government late last year changed the minimum age from 18 to 21 nationwide for purchasing tobacco products, including vaping cartridges and e-cigarettes.

A Senate bill that would license retail tobacco vendors and apply administrative sanctions against prohibited sales to youths under age 21 advanced toward a decisive House floor vote, with the endorsement Monday by a House panel on health policy.

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