In an attempt to lower its state-leading tobacco use rate, Phillips County, Ark. has passed an ordinance raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old.
An estimated 26 percent of residents in the county smoke, and county leadership decided it was time to take steps to lower that rate, including making it harder for youth to have access to tobacco products. The move comes two years after Helena-West Helena, the county seat, passed a similar increase of its own.
Phillips County is located in the eastern part of the state and is home to approximately 19,000 residents.