MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – Muskegon County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a resolution that supports raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products.
At a full board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20, the commissioners unanimously voted to support an initiative called “Tobacco 21,” which aims to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
Behind the resolution is the Knowsmoke Coalition, a Muskegon County anti-smoking group. The resolution was introduced at board committee meeting Thursday, Dec. 15
Cyndi Powers, Knowsmoke Coalition co-chair, said reducing young peoples’ access to tobacco is the group’s focus.
“Studies have shown if we keep a child from smoking until after they’re 21, the chances of them being a long-term addicted smoker is a lot less,” Powers said.
According to an update from the One in 21 initiative, which is striving to make Muskegon County the state’s healthiest county by 2021, the rate of adult smoking in the county improved to slightly below the state average.
Kendall Stagg, director of safety net transformation and community health innovation for Trinity Health, said the next step is to inform the public about Tobacco 21.
“Beyond 200 jurisdictions have passed this law, so it truly is a national movement, it’s sweeping the nation,” Stagg said.
California and Hawaii, in addition to 212 cities and counties in the United States, have banned tobacco sales to people younger than 21-years-old, according to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.
In Michigan, Ann Arbor became the first city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the from 18 to 21. An ordinance was adopted by its city council in August.
Supporters of the Ann Arbor ordinance claimed it would make it harder for teens to be introduced to nicotine or tobacco products. However, opponents argued people younger than 21-years-old could drive to other municipalities to purchase those products.
LB 73 Tobacco 21 Bill Hearing — Watch Live Here
Nebraska Legislator Introduces Bill to Raise Tobacco Purchase Age to 21
Bill to raise tobacco age among 93 introduced in Legislature
Proposed bill to increase age of buying tobacco, vaping products
Bill would ban sale, use of tobacco and e-cigs to Nebraskans under 21
Are new age restrictions on tobacco sales coming?
Paramus to consider raising age for buying tobacco
Presentation: Resources for Nebraskans Who Want to Quit Using Tobacco Products