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San Antonio City Council Approves Increase to Tobacco Purchasing Age

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“If somebody doesn’t start smoking before the age of 21, they will likely never start,” KENS 5 quotes Colleen Bridger of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District. Bridger also stated that smokers cost the city money due to health issues and “…more absenteeism and less productivity.” For these reasons, she hoped that the City Council would vote to increase the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

On the night of January 11, MySA.com reported that San Antonio City Council did approve of the new law to move up the age to buy tobacco to 21-years-old in a 9 to 2 vote. Those who opposed the law cited possible harm to local businesses.

The law is focused on prohibiting businesses from selling the products, not creating penalties for young people. “Retailers who violate the new law could face a fine of up to $500,” MySA.com writes.

Originally, Bridger said that the law would go into effect on August 1, but that date has now been pushed back to October 1.

“San Antonio is the first city in Texas to enact such a law. Five states and more than 280 cities in other states have approved similar measures,” MySA.com writes.