Columbia raises smoking age to 21 -

Columbia raises smoking age to 21

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By Jacob Kuerth By Jacob Kuerth

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- People younger than 21 will not be able to buy tobacco or electronic cigarettes in Columbia.

The Columbia City Council approved the ordinances Monday, as well as prohibiting e-cigarette smoking in public buildings.

The Columbia Missourian reports supporters said the ordinances would improve public health.

Opponents said the ordinances would reduce sales tax revenue in Columbia and be hard to enforce because they regulate only sales of the products but not possession or use of tobacco or e-cigarettes.

Ronald Leone, executive director at Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, presented a petition he said had signatures from 2,600 residents who opposed restricting tobacco use.

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