Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress

5/17/17 – Excelsior Springs becomes the 12th community to adopt Tobacco 21
4/17/17 – Jefferson City becomes 11th community to adopt Tobacco 21
1/1/17 – Jackson County becomes 10th community to adopt Tobacco 21, covers all unincorporated portions of the county
11/29/16 – St. Louis becomes 9th community to adopt Tobacco 21
9/28/2016 – Liberty becomes the 8th city in Missouri to adopt Tobacco 21
9/6/2016 – St. Louis County passes the state’s 7th Tobacco 21 ordinance, covering almost 1 million people
8/18/2016 – Lee’s Summit becomes 6th city in Missouri to adopt Tobacco 21
5/24/2016 – Grandview becomes 5th city in Missouri to adopt Tobacco 21
2/8/2016 – Gladstone becomes 4th city in Missouri to adopt Tobacco 21, passes by 5-0 margin
12/21/2015 – Independence becomes 3rd city in Missouri to adopt Tobacco 21, passes by 6-1 margin
11/19/2015 – Kansas City bill passes by 11-1 margin, takes effect 11/22/2015
12/15/2014 – Columbia bill passes by a 6-1 margin, takes effect immediately

Missouri currently has an above average rate of high school and adult smoking. These rates would eventually result in the premature death of 128,000 children now under the age of 18, with 3,500 children becoming daily smokers each year. The high school student’s e-cigarette usage rate is 22%; driving up Missouri’s overall youth tobacco use rates.

The direct health care costs of tobacco amount to $3.03 billion annually, and lost productivity due to smoking amounts to $3.04 billion. Despite this, the state only spends 2.2% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention. The state also has the lowest per pack tax in the nation, at $0.17.

There is no preemption language present in state law keeping localities from raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) to 21. The state law permits local governments to impose stricter regulations regarding youth access to tobacco. This means more cities can follow Columbia’s lead and raise their tobacco age to 21.

Local governments are free to enact ordinances to better protect their kids from addiction. 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:

Rob Crane, MD
Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation

Ginny Chadwick
Former First Ward City Council Member
City of Columbia, MO

Claudia Flores Rodas
Director, Southern Region
Tobacco Free Kids

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Missouri: “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 Missouri: “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