In the final minutes of Monday night’s Columbia City Council meeting and with the clock’s hands passing past midnight and into Tuesday morning, Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick called for a pair of tobacco related changes. One would ban the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, while the other would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
The council unanimously passed a motion that sends the legislative intent for Chadwick’s proposal to the city’s Board of Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Commission for review before a complete bill is presented to the council for a vote, according to the Columbia Tribune.
The article reports that Chadwick said raising the minimum age would lower the use of tobacco products by youth by making it easier to spot underage purchasers, decrease cultural acceptance of youth smoking and cut off peers’ access to the products.
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.