U.S. President Donald Trump signed the new age limit into law on December 20 as part of a larger government funding bill.
President Trump recently signed legislation that changed the federal minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21.
The new minimum age by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges. "BIG!" Though he has touted the measure, it remained unclear when the age change would take effect.
Although the new measure mandates the minimum age of 21 nationwide, many states have already raised their legal ages for purchasing tobacco.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is responsible for much of the enforcement around tobacco sales in the state. Nebraska and New Hampshire raised their tobacco buying age to 19.
"They're also confused of why and where and why this happened and why no one was given a notice, so it makes a really confusing situation on who we can let in and how, and the way to explain that to yourself, and to the customers I mean", he said.
The FDA has regulated tobacco products since 2009. None of the owners wanted to speak on the record, but several said the FDA's announcement came as a surprise, and that they didn't feel they were given clear direction about how to proceed. It says more details on the change will be provided once available.
"While there are unanswered questions about when FDA plans to enforce this requirement and whether the agency can legally enforce it before updating its regulations, retailers should be aware that FDA views any sale to a person under 21 as a violation of the new law", the association said.
The FDA said in a message posted on its website that the change is now in effect.