Lee's Summit became the latest city to pass a Tobacco 21 ordinance – prohibiting the sale and purchase of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and vapor products to those under age 21 – following a city council vote Thursday.
The ordinance takes effect Dec. 1. The age for unlawful possession remains at 18.
Lee's Summit joins Independence and Kansas City, which approved ordinances late last year (Independence's went into effect March 1), Gladstone and Grandview on the Missouri side of the metro area as Tobacco 21 cities. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City was the first on the Kansas side to pass an ordinance late last year, and a host of other suburbs have since done the same. The Tobacco 21 movement also has grown nationwide.
According to a city release, the ordinance requires merchants to have two highly visible signs in each display to inform customers of the minimum age. One set of signs will be sent to merchants in the coming weeks and are also available for download on the city website (cityofls.net). Additional signs, if required for multiple displays, may be obtained at City Hall at the Development Center counter beginning Sept. 5.
At its July 7 meeting, the Lee's Summit City Council heard a presentation from the Health Education Advisory Board and directed city staff to draft an ordinance. Two physicians on the advisory board had seen initial presentations from the regional Tobacco 21 movement, at the same time the board was working on a “Healthy Lee's Summit” plan based on community results from a 2014 survey conducted by Jackson County Health Department.