Officials in both Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan. approved an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, along with a handful of other changes this week.
In Kansas City, Mo., the age increase passed by a vote of 11-1, while the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. Board of Commission passed the proposal by a 6-1 vote with three members absent, according to KCTV. The joint effort, dubbed Tobacco 21|KC, was led by a group called Healthy KC, a partnership of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.
Additionally, Kansas City, Mo. approved a proposal to classify electronic cigarettes and similar devices as nicotine products and prohibit the use of those devices in enclosed public areas.
Both governments put fines in places for tobacco sellers, but not those under 21 who might purchase of possess tobacco products. In Missouri, the fine for a retailer selling to an underage person starts at $100, while on the other side of the border it starts at $200.
In Missouri, the purchase age changes go into effect in 10 days, while the e-cig and vapor product regulations will go into effect in two months. In Kansas, the age increase goes into effect on Nov. 26.
Kansas City, Mo. is the state’s largest city with an estimated 470,800 residents, while Kansas City, Kan. is the third largest city in Kansas with a population of just over 148,000 residents. Together they are the anchor cities in the Kansas City metropolitan area, which is home to nearly 2.4 million people.