American Heart Association rep talks Tobacco 21 initiative

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- A legislative step increasing the age for tobacco purchases in St. Louis County from 18 to 21 passed Tuesday night. A final county council vote is expected next week and bill sponsor Dr. Sam Page predicts it will pass despite some opposition.

Karen Englert is with the American Heart Association and supports Tobacco 21.

She joined us on FOX 2 News in the Morning to explain.

Smokeless Tobacco Includes:

• The suburban city of Needham, Massachusetts was the first to implement Tobacco 21 in 2005, and saw teen smoking decrease by an astonishing 46 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Missouri has six cities with T21 ordinances: Columbia, Kansas City, Independence, Gladstone, Grandview and Lee`s Summit.

• Local public health organizations and healthcare institutions support legislation introduced recently by St. Louis County Councilman, Dr. Sam Page that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 in St. Louis County.

• High school youth can easily obtain cigarettes from their older peers despite having our current laws in place. Tobacco 21 laws can help current and future St. Louis children avoid a lifetime of tobacco addiction and tobacco related disease."

• The suburban city of Needham, Massachusetts was the first to implement Tobacco 21 in 2005, and saw teen smoking decrease by an astonishing 46 percent between 2006 and 2010.
• 190+ cities in 12 states; 2 states (California and Hawaii) have statewide ordinances. Missouri has six cities with T21 ordinances: Columbia, Kansas City, Independence, Gladstone, Grandview and Lee`s Summit.