While the state of Arizona won’t be considering a statewide increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco products this year, the city of Flagstaff showed its desire to pass its own increase on Tuesday night, unanimously approving the first reading of an ordinance that will make 21-years-old the minimum age within the city.
Additionally, the ordinance requires that all tobacco retailers must have a sales license in order to continue selling tobacco. Money raised from those licenses will go to conducting a minimum of two compliance checks per year on each retailer. Retailers found to be violating the ordinance will be subject to a first-time fine of no less than $500, which increase to $750 and a seven day suspension of their license for a second violation within 36 months. A third violation in that time frame carries a $1,000 fine and suspension of the license for 30 days, while a fourth violation would also prohibit a tobacco retailer from selling tobacco for three years.
If a person is not a retailer and is found to have given tobacco to a person under 21, they would face a fine of $50.
The ordinance must still get an approval at its second reading, which is currently scheduled for July 2. If passed, the increase would go into effect 60 days later.
Flagstaff is located approximately 145 miles north of Phoenix and is home to nearly 72,000 residents, as well as Northern Arizona University.