Tobacco Purchase Age Increase Could Go To Public Vote in Columbia, Mo.

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While the Columbia City Council voted 6-1 on Monday to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and treat electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco as far as purchase and usage, that doesn’t mean the issue is completely settled.

A group of citizens has organized a petition campaign to have all three ordinances reconsidered by the council, a move that could end up putting them on a ballot for voters to decide. The organizers need to gather 3,209 signatures on each petition by Jan. 5 to move the issue forward, something organizer Spencer Pearson told the Columbia Tribune would be difficult because of the holiday season taking residents and college students out of town. Columbia is home to the University of Missouri, which has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, as well as Stephens College and Columbia College, both of which have enrollments near 1,000 students.

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Should organizers gather enough signatures, the council would have to reconsider the measures and if they don’t rescind the ordinances, they would be presented to voters at the next available election, something Mayor Bob McDavid said he would find interesting and support, including posting a message on his Facebook page saying he would support the referendum.

Columbia is home to approximately 115,000 people and is located almost directly between Kansas City and St. Louis, about 125 miles from both cities.

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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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