Virginians and local businesses react to nicotine law going into effect July 1st

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Starting July 1st, the age requirement to buy tobacco, nicotine vapor or other nicotine products will be raised from 18 to 21 year old in the state of Virginia.

Many are on the fence about the new law.

Managers at Vapor 42, labeled as an adult only store, have mixed feelings about the new bill going into effect.   

“Being right on the border there going to go right across to Tennessee and pick it up or have there friends go and buy it for them,” said Grady Mask, owner of Vapor 42. 

Nicotine vaping, commonly known as an alternative to tobacco products, will also be illegal for those under the age of 21.

“Legally by law and the way we’re going to do our policy is if it appears they are buying for anyone under age, we will not do the sale,” said Mask. “Outside of that, if we don’t know any different, we have no reason to stop the sale from happening.”

While Mask is worried about those under-age taking a quick trip across the border to Tennessee, General Manager Kristy Tuggle said there is some good to the law.

“I have children under the age of 18 and even though I do vape myself,” said Tuggle, “I don’t want my kids to be subjected to that.”

Others we spoke with on Tuesday agreed with the decision to raise the minimum age to buy nicotine products.

Others disagreed.

“I think it’s kind of crazy that just cause the industry is getting crazy out there with people in high school, I don’t think you should punish everybody,” said Bailey Jonas, who just turned 20 last week.

Vapor 42 plans to continue checking ID’s upon customers entering the store, as well as put up new signage about the age requirement.

Violators could be banned from the store as well.

“If Tennessee doesn’t doctor in the law too,” said Jonas. “I’ll just go over there.”

“It is definitely going to affect business a little bit,” said Tuggle.

Under the new law, active duty military members 18 and older can still purchase nicotine products. 

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