St. Louis County moves to raise the age to buy tobacco

CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – St. Louis County is poised to raise the purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. The St. Louis County Council voted in favor of the bill Tuesday. The legislation still requires a final vote that is expected to be made by the council next week.

The bill has the support of multiple health agencies. The bulk of the opposition has come from groups opposed to a portion of the bill including e-cigarettes. The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Sam Page, said he sees no reason to make an exception for vaping products.

“The FDA has determined that vaping products are tobacco products. They will be regulated as tobacco products, and we should treat the same here in St. Louis County,” said Page.

Representatives from the vaping industry take exception with the FDA classification. Several people told council members about quitting smoking with the help of vaping products without tobacco.

Bill supporters predict the bill will save lives by reducing the chances young adults will get hooked on cigarettes. Opponents said they plan on attending next week’s meeting when a final vote is expected to take place.

If bill is approved next week, it would become law December 1st.