how old do you have to be to buy cigarettes

Cigarette smoking is a legal and regulated activity in the United States, but it is also restricted to those who are of legal age. If you’re wondering how old you have to be to buy cigarettes, the answer varies by state. Here, we will provide a guide to the legal age to buy cigarettes by state.

Legal age to buy cigarettes by State

The legal age to buy cigarettes is determined by state law, and it ranges from 18 to 21 years old. As of 2021, there are currently 19 states and the District of Columbia that have raised the minimum age to purchase cigarettes to 21. The following is a list of states and their corresponding legal age to buy cigarettes:

  • Alabama: 19
  • Alaska: 21
  • Arizona: 21
  • Arkansas: 21
  • California: 21
  • Colorado: 21
  • Connecticut: 21
  • Delaware: 21
  • District of Columbia: 21
  • Florida: 21
  • Georgia: 21
  • Hawaii: 21
  • Illinois: 21
  • Kansas: 21
  • Kentucky: 21
  • Louisiana: 21
  • Maine: 21
  • Maryland: 21
  • Massachusetts: 21
  • Michigan: 21
  • Minnesota: 21
  • Mississippi: 21
  • Missouri: 21
  • Montana: 21
  • Nebraska: 19
  • Nevada: 21
  • New Hampshire: 21
  • New Jersey: 21
  • New Mexico: 21
  • New York: 21
  • North Carolina: 21
  • North Dakota: 21
  • Ohio: 21
  • Oklahoma: 21
  • Oregon: 21
  • Pennsylvania: 21
  • Rhode Island: 21
  • South Carolina: 21
  • South Dakota: 18
  • Tennessee: 21
  • Texas: 21
  • Utah: 21
  • Vermont: 21
  • Virginia: 21
  • Washington: 21
  • West Virginia: 21
  • Wisconsin: 21
  • Wyoming: 21

It’s important to note that some cities and counties within states may have different laws regarding the legal age to buy cigarettes. It’s always best to check with your local government to ensure that you are complying with the law.

Consequences of buying cigarettes underage

Buying cigarettes underage can have serious consequences, including legal and financial penalties. In some states, minors who are caught buying cigarettes may be fined, required to perform community service, or have their driver’s license suspended. Additionally, retailers who sell cigarettes to minors may face fines and the loss of their tobacco license.

In addition to legal consequences, smoking cigarettes can have serious health consequences. Research has shown that smoking cigarettes can lead to a range of health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses. Starting smoking at a young age can increase the risk of developing these health problems later in life.

Furthermore, smoking is an expensive habit. The cost of cigarettes can add up quickly, and the financial burden of smoking can be significant over time. For example, a pack-a-day smoker can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cigarettes each year.

how old do you have to be to buy cigarettes.


In conclusion, the legal age to buy cigarettes varies by state, and it’s important to know the laws in your area to avoid legal and financial consequences. Additionally, smoking cigarettes can have serious health consequences and can be an expensive habit. It’s important to make informed decisions about smoking and to consider the impact it can have on your health and finances.

If you’re a smoker looking to quit, there are resources available to help you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a range of resources, including quitlines and online programs, to help smokers quit. Moreover, many employers and healthcare providers offer smoking cessation programs that can be effective in helping smokers quit for good.

Ultimately, the decision to smoke or not to smoke is a personal one. However, it’s important to make informed decisions and to consider the impact that smoking can have on your health, finances, and legal status. By understanding the legal age to buy cigarettes and the consequences of smoking, you can make informed choices andtake steps to protect your health and well-being.


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