Local News

Tobacco 21 Ordinance

We have found a problem in not only our city, but our nation as well: the availability and use of tobacco and nicotine products among teens.

Date: 1/23/2017

Posted by Finney County Community Health Coalition on 1/23/2017


We have found a problem in not only our city, but our nation as well: the availability and use of tobacco and nicotine products among teens.

The LiveWell Finney County organization, found a group of High School students that are passionate about solving this nicotine problem; thus forming the Garden City High School LiveWell committee. This committee has established the solution to lowering the risk of underage smoking by increasing the minimum age of sale and purchase of tobacco products. This includes e-cigarettes, vapor products and paraphernalia from eighteen to twenty-one years of age.

Nicotine is the most addictive substance. Adolescent brains are continuously developing and are uniquely sensitive to nicotine addiction. Most underage teens receive access to tobacco products from those that meet the minimum age of 18. If the age was raised to 21, the availability would decrease (since the age of underage teens to young adults is less common).

A March 2015 Institute of Medicine study estimated that “Tobacco 21” implementation would reduce smoking among 15-17 year olds by 25% and among 18-20 year olds by 15%. There would be fewer smokers before age18 and that would lead to fewer long-term smokers reducing overall smoking rates by an estimated 12%. In the business impact, Ohio State University estimated that the average smoker costs a private employer $5,218 per year in excess costs related to their smoking.

Ninety-four cities in seven states and the entire state of Hawaii have passed a “Tobacco 21” ordinance. Help us progress our city in the journey for better health through your endorsement of “Tobacco 21”.

For more information contact Donna Gerstner, 620-765-1183 or email at DonnaGerstner@Centura.org