President Donald Trump praised a massive military spending bill on Friday that includes a provision raising the smoking age to 21.
Trump indicated that he would sign the $738 billion spending bill, which includes a slew of other legislative priorities for both Republicans and Democrats.
“It will include 12 weeks Paid Parental Leave, gives our troops a raise, importantly creates the SPACE FORCE, SOUTHERN BORDER WALL FUNDING, repeals ‘Cadillac Tax’ on Health Plans, raises smoking age to 21!” Trump wrote. “BIG!”
I will be signing our 738 Billion Dollar Defense Spending Bill today. It will include 12 weeks Paid Parental Leave, gives our troops a raise, importantly creates the SPACE FORCE, SOUTHERN BORDER WALL FUNDING, repeals “Cadillac Tax” on Health Plans, raises smoking age to 21! BIG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
The bill to raise the smoking age to 21 is technically part of a second $1.4 trillion year-end appropriations bill that is also awaiting the president’s signature before he leaves for Christmas.
The plan to raise the smoking age received support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as other Senate Republicans and Democrats. E-Cigarette maker Juul also backed the new age restrictions to demonstrate to regulators its willingness to keep its products out of the hands of children.
The age limit hike also applies to e-cigarettes and all traditional tobacco products.
Trump also supported the idea to help stop kids from vaping with e-cigarettes.
“We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so,” he said in November.
Trump initially proposed banning all flavored e-cigarettes but backed down from the proposal after he learned of a likely backlash from voters.
The president hosted a roundtable discussion of the issue live on camera with vaping and e-cigarette advocates and opponents such as Sen. Mitt Romney.
Romney warned that vaping flavors like “unicorn poop” was specifically branded to appeal to children.
Trump admitted during the discussion that banning flavored e-cigarettes would only move adults to purchase illegal unregulated substances that could poison people.
“They could be selling something on a street corner that could be horrible. … They are going to have a flavor that is poison,” he said.