You will soon need to be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes in St. Louis, Mo., as today the city’s Board of Aldermen passed the second reading of the proposed age increase.
The increase quickly made its way through city government; after being introduced by Alderwoman Dionne Flowers, it cleared the board’s Health and Human Services committee in early November before the first reading was approved on Nov. 11.
Mayor Francis Slay has already said publicly that he supports the increase and could sign it as early as today. Because the proposal included an emergency clause, it means that the increase will go into effect immediately upon receiving the mayor’s signature, having been deemed to be “an ordinance for the preservation of public peace, health and safety.”
St. Louis County approved a similar increase in September, and the city’s approval of the increase no unifies the two entities in the minimum purchasing age.
St. Louis has a population of approximately 315,685 residents, making it the second largest city in the state behind Kansas City and the 60th most populous city in the United States. Kansas City, Mo. passed an increase in the tobacco purchasing age to 21 in Nov. 2015. According to a press release issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, when St. Louis’ increase goes into effect, 35% of Missouri’s population will live in areas where the minimum age to purchase tobacco is 21.