City of Columbia To Increase Tobacco Buying Age

Smoking Girl

The  city of Columbia , Missouri, wants to introduce a law banning use of e-cigaretts indoors and increasing legal age to buy tobacco products to 21. The proposal was sent to the city’s Board of Health for a review. Also public meetings will be organized.

However, a number of local convenience stores oppose the anti-smoking initiative as they say it will hurt their business.

According to Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, the existing law bans sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18 and this category of people is defined as minors. However, now the city tries to change this definition and create its own.

Nancy Thompson, the City Counselor, told that state law gives municipalities the power to adopt their own ordinances and rules regarding tobacco use

Leone says that cigarettes sales make up from 25% to 40% business in convenience stores. Increasing the age for buying cigarettes would drive customers from city of Columbia to other cities in the county. There are no other cities in Missouri to have 21 as the legal age fot tobacco products purchasing.

However, cities in Missouri managed to regulate the use of e-cigarettes. Thus everal cities prohibited use of e-cigarettes indoors. These are Jefferson City,  Washington,Creve Coeur, St. Joseph. However, the opposers of e-cigarettes ban told that there is no scientific evidence of what effects they have on health.

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