The Healdsburg City Council has taken a significant step forward in the process of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the city from 18 to 21, voting 3-1 on Tuesday to have the city attorney prepare an ordinance to be introduced in the near future.

The council made plans for the ordinance in December 2013, but had asked City Attorney David Warner to investigate any possibilities that they might be exposing themselves to a lawsuit should the ordinance be implemented. The initial prompting for the change came in October 2013 from retired Healdsburg physician David Anderson, who said in addition to discouraging teens from starting to smoke, the move would “send a message young people, parents, educators and visitors,” according to PressDemocrat.com. After the meeting, he told the paper that “this may be the biggest thing I’ve accomplished as far as saving lives.”

While the specific language has yet to be revealed, the ordinance is expected to focus on two areas: raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and creating a tobacco retailers licensing program that will be used to enforce the change. It is not expected to make smoking or otherwise consuming tobacco products illegal for those under 21.

If passed, it would make Healdsburg the first city in California to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21, a trend that has gained momentum in the past two years with New York City raising the age in November 2013 and numerous other municipalities considering similar measures.

 

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.