San Antonio City Council approves measure to raise tobacco purchasing age

Photo: MGN Online

SAN ANTONIO (SBG) - In a 9-2 vote, city council approved a measure to raise the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 within the city limits.

Councilmen Greg Brockhouse and Clayton Perry voted against the measure.

Brockhouse pushed to table the proposal until local store owners could be consulted on the measure. A group of store owners opposed the idea, citing it would create an unfair advantage for stores located just outside the city limits, which could still sell tobacco to people under the age of 21.

Perry wanted to table the measure and instead encourage efforts to raise the tobacco purchasing age across the state of Texas.

The Tobacco 21 ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2018.

News Release from San Antonio Tobacco 21:

City Council approves raising the sale age for tobacco products from 18 to 21
The San Antonio Tobacco 21 Coalition applauds the leadership and commitment of the San Antonio City Council to improve the health and quality of life for all San Antonians by raising the sale age for tobacco products to 21 with the adoption of the Tobacco 21 ordinance. Raising the tobacco age from 18 to 21 is an important step toward reducing youth smoking and preventing a lifetime of addiction and disease. Tobacco 21 will help counter the efforts of the tobacco industry to target young people and minorities and will help reduce the devastating health and economic consequences of tobacco use in San Antonio. Increasing the legal age for tobacco products to 21 will reduce the pipeline of tobacco products to our youth in middle school and high school and reduce the number of youth who start smoking. Over a lifetime, this policy will reduce the smoking rate, reduce smoking related deaths, and lead to fewer premature deaths.
“This is a great day for the city of San Antonio,” said Abigail Moore, CEO of the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “With the leadership of Metro Health and the support of our Tobacco 21 Coalition partners, the City Council has taken a great step towards improving the health and wellbeing of all San Antonians, especially our youth and young adults.”
“The passing of Tobacco 21 is a major public health win for our city,” said Dr. Sandra Guerra, Chief Medical Officer for Humana TRICARE and American Heart Association Board Member. “We applaud the Mayor and City Council for taking a great step in preventing San Antonio youth from a lifelong addiction to tobacco products for generations to come.”
Following today’s City Council vote, there will be a six-month education and phase in plan with the ordinance officially taking effect on October 1, 2018.

About the San Antonio Tobacco 21 Coalition

The San Antonio Tobacco 21 Coalition includes the Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Bethal Prevention Coalition, EastPoint Promise Prevention Coalition, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Texas, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and March of Dimes, among others. Additionally, institutions such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas at San Antonio and UTHealth San Antonio serve as educational resources.

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