Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress

7/1/2017 – Johnson County (unincorporated) becomes the 17th Kansas locality to adopt Tobacco 21
7/1/2017 – Garden City becomes 16th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
1/1/2017 – Merriam becomes 15th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
1/1/2017 – Leawood becomes 14th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
11/21/2016 – Roeland park becomes 13th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
9/1/2016 – Leavenworth becomes 12th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
8/23/2016 – Westwood becomes 11th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
8/23/2016 – Mission Hills becomes 10th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
8/1/2016 – Overland Park becomes 9th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
7/1/2016 – Lansing becomes 8th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
7/1/2016 – Lenexa becomes 7th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
7/1/2016 – Bonner Springs becomes 6th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
6/28/2016 – Westwood Hills becomes the 5th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
6/1/2016 – Iola becomes 4th locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
3/22/2016 – Prairie Village becomes 3rd locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
2/2/2016 – Olathe becomes 2nd locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21
11/19/2015 – Wyandotte County becomes first locality in Kansas to adopt Tobacco 21 ordinance

In November of 2015, Wyandotte County became the first municipality in Kansas to adopt a Tobacco 21 ordinance. The Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, led by Jessica Hembree and Scott Hall, and joined by over a hundred other local civic and health organizations, spearheaded the impressive campaign. The measure passed by a 6-1 vote and was widely reported on, supported by both local and national media. At the same time, Kansas City, Missouri passed a sister ordinance, beginning the push to raise the age in the entire KC metro area to 21. Since this effort began, 14 more cities in Kansas and 22 total in the KC metro area have adopted Tobacco 21. (See KC area map)

Kansas has a slightly below national average rate of high school smoking, and an above national average rate of adult smoking. An estimated 61,000 children now under the age of 18 will eventually die because of smoking, with 1,600 children becoming daily smokers each year. The result is a $1.12 billion annual cost in health care that is directly attributable to smoking, and another $1.09 billion in lost productivity. The state spends only 8.7% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, a decrease in funding from 2016.

Nothing in the state law prevents local governments from enacting their own youth access regulations for tobacco. This means, and has been proven by robust local efforts in KC, that Tobacco 21 is a viable option to progress their fight against tobacco related disease and economic burden. It has been our experience that the most powerful incentive for the state legislature to act is the initiative of local citizens and governmental leaders. Statewide, California and Hawaii’s laws both began at the local level where powerful tobacco industry lobbyists have little sway. We encourage you to talk to your local city council person, county council member or board of health leader. Local champions have largely driven this movement in non-preempted states. Your voice is more influential than you think. Constituents are an impetus for change at the community and statewide levels. Garner interest around Tobacco 21 at the local and state level by communicating with your local legislators through phone calls, emails, and testimony at local government meetings.

For more information, you may contact:

Eric Brodell
Western Region Direction
Tobacco 21

April Seliga
Eastern Region Director
Tobacco 21

Jodi Radke
Director, Rocky Mountain / Great Plains Region
Tobacco Free Kids

Scott Hall
Senior Vice President, Civic and Community Initiatives
Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Kansas: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card: “The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Kansas: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

We welcome your comments and suggestions: Contact Us