President Cofer appoints committee to campaign for smoke-free campus

The age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes in Springfield is no longer 18.

Now, tobacco users must be 21 years old to purchase both traditional tobacco products and e-cigarettes or vape pens.

The bill named Tobacco 21 was voted on by the Springfield City Council and unanimously passed. It went into effect on Monday, July 15.

According to a press release sent by the Office of the Director of Health, “the intent of this ordinance is to reduce youth tobacco initiation.”

Citing the Institutes of Medicine, the press release said 96 percent of current smokers started the habit before they were 21.

While it is now against the law to sell tobacco products to those younger than 21, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said they want to focus on educating retailers and the public on the new rules, not enforcement.

“Our goal is to provide adequate time to educate and create awareness around the new ordinance before any tickets are issued,” the press release said.