Nearly three months after a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Columbia, Mo. came up in the closing minutes of a city council meeting, the council approved the increase by a vote of 6-1 at its meeting on Monday night.
Three smoking and tobacco-related proposals came before the council, and they all received the same vote. Electronic cigarettes are now subject to the same minimum age restrictions and restrictions about where they can as traditional tobacco products. The Columbia/Boone County Board of Health announced its endorsement of the proposals last month.
After some two hours of debate, the age change passed, with Councilwoman Lauren Nauser the lone dissenter, saying that her “libertarian streak” led her to vote no, warning about taking government regulation too far, according to the Columbia Tribune. “We can make an argument about almost anything we do in government that it’s ‘in our best interest’,” she said.
The three ordinances were sponsored by Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick, who said that with the vote, “we are giving families healthier lives together.”
Columbia is home to approximately 115,000 people and is located almost directly between Kansas City and St. Louis, about 125 miles from both cities.