Will the smoking age go back to 18?

I have had many foreign friends and I have discussed many smoking issues, about whether the smoking age will return to 18 years old? This is a question I think many people should know. The probability is not too high.

So far, according to the policies of various countries, it will not revert to 18 years of age for the time being. Under U.S. law, this change has not been in place for a long time and is strictly limited to 21 years of age or older.


U law: has been adjusted from the age of 18 years old week to 21 years old. On Dec. 20, 2019, the President signed legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raising the federal minimum age for sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.


Policy Adoption in Europe

Age-of-sale laws were first proposed at a European level in the 2003 Recommendation by the European Commission (Recommendation 2003/54/EC, not legally binding), which focused on measures to reduce cigarette supply to young people.11 Article 16 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, which is legally binding and has been signed and ratified by all European countries, requires countries to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors but does not specify an exact age limit.

Scandinavian countries had an age of sale of 16 since the 1970s. They were among the first to adopt a tobacco age-of-sale of 18 years old between 1995 and 1997.12 This was followed by a number of Eastern-European countries that adopted an age-of-sale of 18 years between 2002 and 2004 with no prior age-of-sale in place. In addition, Ireland also increased its sales age from 16 to 18 in 2002.12 Between 2006 and 2009, many countries followed suit including Denmark, France, Portugal, Spain, England, and Scotland.12 The Netherlands adopted the age of sale of 18 in 2014.12 Belgium and Austria are the only two European countries with a current age of 16.


A debate on the adoption of a tobacco age-of-sale of 21 in Europe has not occurred, with the recent exception of the United Kingdom. We believe that soon the time will be ripe for this discussion to spread throughout Europe, specifically among countries that have adopted a smoke-free generation movement.