On Monday night, the Springfield City Council gave its approval to the second reading of an ordinance that will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, e-cigarettes, vaping products and other nicotine delivery devices in the city from 18 to 21-years-old.
The new law also prohibits the distribution of any free samples of tobacco products or tobacco alternatives. It also requires that any tobacco retailers who wish to continue selling such products obtain a license from the city within 60 days of the bill going into effect.
Retailers who sell to persons under 21 will face fines starting at $250, while employees could also be fined a minimum $50. Retailers who sell tobacco without a permit can be fined between $500 and $1,000.
As written going into Monday’s meeting, the ordinance and its changes are scheduled to go into effect following passage by the council.
Springfield is home to just over 167,000 residents, making it the third most populous city in Missouri.