CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Police in Cheyenne don't have the authority to enforce the new federal law that increased the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, the agency said.
Officers can only legally enforce state laws and Cheyenne city ordinances, public information officer David Inman said. He said city officials posted the clarification on its Facebook page on Wednesday because they'd been receiving calls from residents and local businesses.
"We were getting a lot of questions from local businesses worried about 'Am I going to get in trouble if I sell,' or 'This is hurting my sales because federal law says we can't do this, but there's no state law saying we can't, so am I allowed to sell or not,'" Inman said. "So we decided to maybe help out by putting it out on social media to reach more people."
Nonetheless, it's still illegal for someone under the age of 21 to purchase products containing tobacco or nicotine, including vaping products.
The Wyoming legislature is expected to consider a bill that would change state law to match the new federal law on tobacco sales. If it passes, Inman said the city would likely pass a similar ordinance and then police would have the power to enforce it.