Last July, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Maine increased from 18 to 21-years-old, albeit with a provision for individuals who had already turned 18-years-old by the increase date that would allow them to continue to purchase tobacco products, subject to any local laws.
On Tuesday, the South Portland City Council voted to override that exemption and make 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, regardless of when a person was born.
Retailers who sell to an underage person will face a first time fine of up to $500, with multiple violations reaching up to $2,500.
Additionally, it also make the possession or use of tobacco products by a person under 21-years-old a crime, punishable by enrollment in tobacco cessation classes, diversion programs or mandated work for the city, public entity or charitable institution.
The changes are slated to go into effect at the earliest possible date allowed by law.
South Portland is home to just over 25,000 residents.