Court: Cities can raise age for buying tobacco

State News

June 28, 2019 - 5:33 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’s highest court ruled Friday that cities can raise the age for buying tobacco products even though state law sets it at 18, bolstering a public health movement driven in part by concerns about teenagers’ use of e-cigarettes.

The state Supreme Court’s unanimous decision allows the city of Topeka to enforce an ordinance setting the age to buy tobacco products, e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine at 21. A company operating two local businesses, Vapebar Topeka and Puffs ‘n’ Stuff, sued just before the ordinance took effect in January 2018, and a lower-court judge blocked it.

The ruling had broader implications because 19 other Kansas cities have raised the age for buying tobacco to 21, and five counties have done so in areas outside cities.

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