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Council considers Tobacco 21 Initiative

April 20, 2017 – Excelsior Springs was the first in the state of Missouri to adopt an ordinance on open house parties. It was also the first to adopt an ordinance on minor in possession by consumption of alcohol. Now, Excelsior Springs is considering joining dozens of other cities in Missouri by adopting the Tobacco 21 ordinance.

Tobacco 21 is a national campaign aimed at raising the minimum legal age for tobacco and nicotine sales to 21.

During a City Council meeting held Monday, April 17, council members listened to a presentation given by Kansas City Chamber representative Scott Paul, who said KC is so involved in getting other area cities to sign on with the Tobacco 21 initiative in order to make the state a destination for health and wellness.

“Tobacco cessation and prevention is a key part of that,” Paul told board members. “There are 22 communities in Missouri that are currently Tobacco 21 communities after we began the initiative a year and a half ago.”

Paul explained during his presentation that by becoming a Tobacco 21 community, Excelsior Springs would join other cities in raising the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 years of age. “Becoming a Tobacco 21 city would affect the sale and purchase of tobacco products. We’re not talking about use or possession of tobacco,” he said.

The reason, Paul said, was that it wasn’t fair for anyone under the age of 21 who would be unaware when entering the city limits of the initiative, if it is put into place. “We don’t want to criminalize their behavior,” he continued. “The goal is not to issue citations and make it part of their criminal record to potentially add to a longer list of criminal problems.”  Read the rest of this story in the Friday, April 21 issue of the Standard


By Jae Juarez •

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