Next month, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Cottonwood, Ariz. will increase to 21-years-old after the city council unanimously approved the proposal on Tuesday night.
Despite the unanimous vote it was a contentious meeting, as the Verde Independent reports that deliberations and public comment spanned some three hours, mainly centering around the economic impact the increase would have to local businesses and the perceived public health benefit that the increase would bring. Mayor Diane Joens didn’t sign off on the increase until getting assurances from the Yavapai Anti-Tobacco Coalition of Youth, the organization who led the charge on the increase, that it would approach neighboring cities and towns and encourage them to pass similar increases, in an attempt to protect Cottonwood businesses from having to contend with a marketplace that has two sets of rules.
While similar increases have been happening across the country, Cottonwood becomes the first city in Arizona to pass such an increase.
The ordinance will go into effect in 30 days.
Cottonwood is located just over 100 miles north of Phoenix, and is home to an estimated 11,424 people.