Avon to consider raising minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21

AVON — The Avon Town Council will consider raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

The issue is part of the Tobacco 21 Initiative, a nationwide effort aimed at making it more difficult for adults ages 18 to 20 to acquire tobacco and tobacco products.

Locally, the Tobacco 21 Initiative is being promoted by the Eagle River Youth Coalition, which has been working with Eagle County Public Health to educate town councils and community members about policy options related to the Tobacco 21 Initiative.

Youth Coalition Manager of Strategic Impact Mikayla Curtis told the council that the current perception among youth in the community is that tobacco products have become easier to access.

“If we could help to reduce that perception, our hope is that we’ll see use of those substances decline, as well,” Curtis said.

Six states have already raised the tobacco purchasing age to 21 — California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii and Maine — along with more than 340 localities, according to the website tobacco freekids.org.

Among those localities are Aspen and Basalt; Aspen was the first in the state to raise the age to purchase cigarettes.

“I was very impressed by the bold action Aspen took,” said Basalt Councilman Bernie Grauer, before voting in favor of the ordinance.

Carbondale is also considering a similar ordinance after the Board of Trustees attended an information session presented by Mandy Ivanov with Eagle County Public Health.

August 11, 2018

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