D.C. Considers Raising Age Limit for Buying Tobacco to 21

D.C. could be the next city to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Ward 5 Council member Kenyon McDuffie will introduce the legislation Tuesday.

The D.C. Council, which recently curbed smoking in outdoor recreation park areas, is divided on the idea.

“Smoking is a scourge on our young people,” Council member Mary Cheh said. “And all the literature that I’ve seen says that if young people don't start smoking prior to 21, they won’t smoke as adults.”

“We should leave the age where it is and we should continue to step up efforts to discourage smoking,” Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said. “We’ve seen enormous strides in reducing the amount of tobacco use.”

Any move to raise the age limit would come after public hearings.

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