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City of Tucson approves raising tobacco age to 21

TUCSON – The legal age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes has been raised from 18 to 21 after the Tucson City Council approved the vote on Tuesday.

The age raise was approved by a 6-1 vote.

The matter was a result of an initiative called Tobacco 21, a national campaign led by the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.

Local high school students asked the board to pass T-21 and said that their decision today will impact future generations.

Retailers are worried about the penalties that will be enforced on their businesses and that ultimately the decision to sell to those under 21 is up to the employee at the register, however, the penalties will be handed to the store owners.

Businesses who sell tobacco products will now be required to purchase a retail license which covers the cost of checking in on a store once a year to make sure they are following the guidelines.

The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Carla Litto

Digital content producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. Carla previously interned at the NBC affiliate. She is currently a senior at UArizona majoring in journalism.

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