Maryland law raising smoking age goes into effect Tuesday

A new law barring teenagers in Maryland from buying tobacco products including electronic smoking devices goes into effect Tuesday.

The law raises the age to purchase cigarettes, cigars and vaping products from 18 to 21 for all residents except active-duty military members. Legislators say the law covers all electronic smoking devices and their parts and accessories. Fourteen other states have similar legislation seeking to prevent young people from getting hooked on nicotine.

The law is taking effect as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigates a mysterious lung illness that has killed some vapers.

The Baltimore Sun reports enforcement will focus on sellers, not underage buyers. Retailers that break the law face fines that escalate from $300 for a first offense to $3,000 for subsequent violations.

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