Helena-West Helena raises age for tobacco purchases | Arkansas Blog

Helena-West Helena raises age for tobacco purchases

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Helena-West Helena has passed an ordinance to increase the legal age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, KATV reports. The ordinance takes effect Sept. 1.

Advocates noted the correlation between lower life expectancy in places such as the Delta and tobacco use.

City ordinances such as these are apparently part of a growing movement, with some 135 similar ordinances in nine states.

Efforts by cities to ban smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants, were the vanguard of what eventually became state law.

I'm surprised the tobacco lobby hasn't sent Gilbert Baker and its other lobbyists into the Capitol with bills to stop this kind of local legislation, much as the NRA did when it prohibited home rule on gun regulation in Arkansas and as the bigots did in 2015 when they passed (and the governor refused to block) legislation aimed at preventing local measures to discourage discrimination against LGBT people.

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