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Kirby latest city to raise tobacco sale age to 21

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Kirby city council raised the legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 Thursday night.

The City of San Antonio did a similar move last year.

At a first reading of the ordinance on February 14th, Kirby city councilman Mike Grant said the council should raise the age to buy tobacco products to help prevent the negative health effects that come with smoking.

“The government woke up and on any military installation, you have to be 21 years old to purchase any kind of tobacco or related items,” Grant stated at that meeting.

Not everyone agreed that the city government should be telling young adults what they can or cannot do.

“I just think it’s a slippery slope of what we continue to ban,” Kirby mayor Lisa Pierce said at the meeting. “I think the real issue is if we are deciding that at 18 you are not an adult, then maybe we should be lobbying to move the adult age to 21 instead of making all of these laws telling 18-year-olds or 19- or 20-year-olds they’re not smart enough to make their own decisions.”

Pierce stated it was contradictory that the council thought 18-year-olds are capable enough to vote in an election or adopt a pet from the Kirby Animal Shelter, but not enough to determine whether they should buy tobacco.

A clerk that sells tobacco to an underage person will face a $500 fine for each offense.

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