Topeka City Council raises age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products

(AP Photo/CVS Health)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka City Council has voted to prohibit the sale or furnishing of cigarettes and other tobacco related products to people under the age of 21.

The current minimum age is 18, for buying products such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, tobacco products and liquid nicotine. The City Council’s 8 to 2 vote will raise that minimum age to 21.

“I think our city is moving forward with this ordinance and we will be attracting more millennials  and that’s one of our problems. We also are going to protect health of the kids so that’s what’s important,” said city councilwoman Elaine Schwartz.

Under the ordinance, the minimum age for use of such products will remain 18. The minimum age for purchase will become 21.

A Seaman High School student, Mia Weiler, spoke out in favor of the ordinance. She said one of her friends passed away from lung cancer because of smoking.

“Knowing that she is not here anymore it really breaks my heart and I want to do this for her just because she has done so much for me and knowing that this could have made an impact if she was still here, it really makes an impact on me,” she said.

A few people spoke against the ordinance. They said they believe it oversteps federal law.

Topeka City Attorney Lisa Robertson, said she was confident that isn’t the case.  

The ordinance takes effect January 11, 2018.

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