Lawrence City Commission interested in raising tobacco age, but has more questions

photo by: Richard Gwin

Signs warning against the sale of tobacco to minors are displayed in the window of a Lawrence store, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

At their work session Tuesday, some Lawrence city commissioners said they were interested in continuing to discuss increasing the age to buy tobacco products, but would like to see how the Kansas Supreme Court rules on the matter.

The LiveWell Douglas County Tobacco 21 work group is backing a measure that would prohibit the sale of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other devices that vaporize nicotine liquid, to people under 21, but would not ban the use of tobacco products for those ages 18-20.

There are about 20 cities in Kansas that have passed such ordinances, and Topeka’s ordinance is being challenged in court. Assistant City Attorney Maria Garcia told the commission that arguments in that case would be made early next year, possibly in January, and the court would come back with a written opinion in a few months.

Mayor Stuart Boley and Vice Mayor Lisa Larsen agreed that they were concerned with increasing teenage use of e-cigarettes, and were interested in further discussion. However, Commissioner Matthew Herbert and Boley said they were concerned about moving forward with such an ordinance now given the pending case. Boley said he would like to know whether the pending case would make it more or less likely that the city might face similar litigation. Commissioner Jennifer Ananda questioned whether the city would be able to enforce the ordinance.

City Commission Work Session 10/09/18

Uploaded by lawrenceksvideo on 2018-10-10.

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Lawrence City Commission to discuss raising age to buy tobacco products


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