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Tobacco 21—a Springfield ordinance prohibiting tobacco and e-cigarette sales to anyone under 21 years of age—goes into effect today, July 16, 2019.
On Monday, July 15, Springfield City Council unanimously voted to approve the ordinance which had first been discussed in late May.
The ordinance includes both traditional tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes, also called vape pens.
The intent of this ordinance is to reduce youth tobacco initiation. According to the Institutes of Medicine, 96 percent of current smokers started smoking before the age of 21.
Although the prohibition of selling these products to those under 21 begins today in Springfield, the focus of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department will be educating retailers and the public on the new requirements, not immediate enforcement. Our goal is to provide adequate time to educate and create awareness around the new ordinance before any tickets are issued.
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has been developed on the Health Department website at health.springfieldmo.gov/T21