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Change In Tobacco Ordinance Up For Public Comment Tonight in Springfield

Chloe O'Neill

Springfield City Council will hear public comment tonight (6/17) on a bill that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products in the city to anyone under age 21.  Currently, city law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 18. 

The bill is sponsored by Richard Ollis, Andrew Lear, Craig Hosmer and Abe McGull.  What’s being called the “Tobacco 21 Act” states that the use of tobacco products contributes to lung disease, heart disease and mental health issues, all of which have been identified by the Springfield- Greene County Health Department as priority health issues. It also states that 96 percent of adults who currently smoke started using tobacco before the age of 21.

The Springfield Public School District sent out a news release Friday backing the change.  District officials say their “top priority will always be the well-being of our 25,000 students.”  They say the new policy would “make a significant positive impact on the health of our youth.”

Those who wish to speak at tonight’s meeting must sign up with the city clerk and limit remarks to three to five minutes.

The meeting starts at 6:30 on the third floor of historic Springfield City Hall.