Pima County considering raising smoking age to 21

The county will host several community meetings over the next week

Pima County considering raising smoking age to 21

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Pima County is considering an ordinance to raise the smoking age to 21 and will host several community meetings for residents.

The Pima County Health Department said the forums are “an opportunity for the public to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed changes.”

In addition to raising the smoking age, the county is considering:

  • Amending current smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes
  • Creating a retail permit system for tobacco retailers in unincorporated Pima County

Kay Wolferstetter, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, attended the meeting in Oro Valley Monday. She lost both of her parents to lung cancer.

“I think about my mom and she said, you know if I didn’t start, I wouldn’t have to stop. And it did stop her, literally, after two years and five months of treatment, so," said Wolferstetter.

The city of Tucson is also working on raising the smoking age. In August 2018, the Tucson City Council began debate on an ordinance that would ban the sale of tobacco and vaping products to anyone under 21.

Cottonwood was the first Arizona city to make the move to 21 when it passed an ordinance in June 2016. Douglas followed suit in July 2017.

The PCHD said anyone can attend any of the following meetings.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26 --- Flowing Wells Library, 3-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 -- Caviglia-Arivaca Library, 4-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28 -- Quincie Douglas Library, 1-2 p.m.; Joyner-Green Valley Library, 5-6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1 -- Dewhirst-Catalina Library, 3-4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 4 -- Abrams Public Health Center, 6-7 p.m.

The PCHD says if you can’t attend the forums, you can send them a message by emailing HDcommunicate@pima.gov. The comments must be received before noon Friday, March 8 so they can be included in a report to the Pima County Board of Health.

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