Last week, President Donald Trump gave his stamp of approval to raise the federal age requirement of who can legally purchase tobacco products to 21. With the president's signature, the change will soon make it illegal for anyone under 21 in the United States to purchase vape products and e-cigarettes, as well as more traditional tobacco products.
High tobacco usage has been a significant issue in Maldives for a long time. As part of the Tobacco Control Act, tobacco smoking is prohibited in workplaces, cinemas, public transport vehicles, restaurants, mosques, buildings and stadiums. In Maldives, it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone below 18 years of age. It is also illegal to plant or grow any type of tobacco plant in the country. However, regardless of the public smoking ban and health warning on cigarettes, Maldives is unable to tackle this serious issue.
In 2018 factsheet by World Health Organization, tobacco kills 173 people each year in Maldives. A 2015 Institute of Medicine report sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration estimated that raising tobacco products’ minimum legal age to 21 would result in a 12% drop in tobacco-use prevalence by the time teenagers at that time were adults, though its models didn’t account for e-cigarette use.