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Update: City raises age to buy tobacco products to 21

At its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, the city council approved an ordinance to change the city’s code, raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and/or tobacco related products from 18 to 21.

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 2:16 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2020 9:41 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph residents or retails confused over how the recent federal change in the minimum age to purchase tobacco and/or tobacco-related products have some clarity after the city approved a change at Monday’s council meeting.

At its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, the city council approved an ordinance to change the city’s code, raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and/or tobacco related products from 18 to 21.

In an attachment to the proposed ordinance, the city staff says the change would bring St. Joseph in line with federal law.

In December, President Donald Trump signed into law a $1.4 trillion spending package that included raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. The Food and Drug Administration, charged with regulating all tobacco products, released a statement saying it was now illegal to sell items to a person under the age of 21.

However, because of a discrepancy in state and federal law, many agencies sought guidance on the next steps.

Missouri’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has since clarified how it plans to enforce the new law in a Facebook post. According to the state ATC’s post, the FDA said training, updates and additional information will be provided in January about tobacco enforcement.

“Currently, FDA has not changed Missouri’s existing program policies and procedures, which are part of a Sept. 30, 2017 contract that is in effect until Sept. 29, 2020,” according to the post.

The approval by the City Council Monday, revised local law so that it mirrored federal law.

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