City Council raises smoking age, limits vaping

thank you for not vapingThe city council on Thursday raised the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

As vape shops spread through the city, it also approved limiting vapor product sales to people at least 21 years old, and it forbid vaping in enclosed public places like restaurants and bars.

Councilman Kevin McManus said the vape products can addict people to nicotine and are unregulated and unknown.

“Until more is known, it is right and proper thing and once more is known it will probably be the right and proper thing,” he said of the regulations.

Councilwoman Heather Hall noted reports of teens vaping in school classes and said she did not want her children or others exposed to fume that could have anything in it.

As for teenage smoking, Taylor said, 95 percent of lifetime smokers start before they are age 21.

And vaping, he said, is a way to “get kids hooked on nicotine products.”

Later in the day Thursday, the Board of Commissioners of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan, also banned sales of tobacco products to people under age 21.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and other groups involved in the Tobacco 21/K campaign now want to spread the change to other cities in the metropolitan area.

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