In most places throughout the nation, tobacco products can be purchased by anyone over the age of 18. But this year those products will become illegal to purchase by anyone under 21 within the city of Rexburg.
With a unanimous vote, the Rexburg City Council decided the city ordinance will go into effect on July 15.
The ordinance will not prohibit individuals under 21 from using or consuming tobacco products — only from purchasing them within city limits.
A group of Madison High School students on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board proposed the adjustment to the ordinance. These students work directly with the mayor to manage community projects.
“I certainly support the youth in Rexburg who brought this forward,” City Councilman Chris Mann told EastIdahoNews.com. “I think it’s a good bill. It makes sense to raise it to the same age as alcohol consumption.”
Mann says he hopes Rexburg’s new law will influence a statewide decision to change the legal purchasing age for tobacco.
“We’re not trying to tell adults what they can or cannot do, but we certainly worry about our young people,” Mann says. “We want to make sure we are creating a healthy […] environment for them. And then, when they’re 21 they can make the decision whether to purchase tobacco or not.”