South Portland, Maine Overrides Exemption for Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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