CONCORD — New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services reminds businesses and consumers that state laws now prohibit the sale and possession of tobacco products for anyone under the age of 21. New Hampshire joins 32 other states in raising the tobacco age to 21.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed House Bill 1245 on July 29, which increased the age from 19 to 21 to purchase, sell or possess tobacco products. Electronic vapor products, including e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, vape pipes, vaping pens, e-hookahs, and hookah pens, are considered tobacco products under the law.
According to Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, more than 95 percent of all smokers started before the age of 21. In the 2019 New Hampshire Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 34 percent of New Hampshire, high-school aged youth reported using an electronic vapor product at least once during the last 30 days. The state's rate of electronic vapor product use among youth remains among the highest in the nation.
“Teenage vaping continues to be a large concern among public health professionals in the state. By raising the smoking age to 21, we have the potential to reduce the risk for tobacco-use addiction for a whole new generation,” said Dr. Sai Cherala, DPHS bureau chief of population health and community services. “Any amount of tobacco use is unsafe for youth and young adults and can harm their developing brains.”
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services offers My Life, My Quit, a tobacco cessation service for teens who want to quit using any tobacco product, with free and confidential services. To enroll, visit mylifemyquit.com, or call or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989.