County Councilman Wants to Raise Minimum Age to Buy Cigarettes

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – You know the phrase ‘smoke ’em if you got ’em?’ Well, in St. Louis County, they want to make sure teens can’t get ’em in the first place.

County councilman Sam Page, a physician, wants to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old, within the county.

He says these ‘Tobacco 21’ measures are sweeping the country.

“This has a real impact in access to tobacco products by teenagers, and in fact will decrease teenage smoking by at least half,” Page says.

Kansas City is among the areas raising the age.

Mercy Hospital chief administrative officer Charles Rehm says it’s a necessary move.

“Unfortunately in our area, we have a higher smoking rate than the national average,” he says. “And most of those people start when they’re very young.”

Rehm says he’s seen the ravages of smoking, and it’s better for kids to just not start.

Page will introduce the bill at Tuesday night’s County Council meeting.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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