Delaware lawmakers seek to raise age to buy tobacco products

DOVER — Delaware lawmakers are proposing to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

A bill introduced Wednesday would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

The legislation also eliminates an existing provision allowing a parent or guardian to buy tobacco for an underage person.

Retailers caught selling tobacco to a person under 18 would be slapped with criminal fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Those caught selling to people over 18 but under 21 would be subject to civil penalties of similar amounts.

While targeting sellers, the legislation eliminates current punishments for minors who try to buy tobacco. Currently, a minor can be found delinquent in such cases, be fined $50 and ordered to perform community service.

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