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File #: 17-6133   
Type: Staff Briefing - With Ordinance
In control: City Council A Session
On agenda: 1/11/2018
Posting Language: An Ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the City Code, entitled “Smoking” to increase the age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 years of age. [Erik Walsh, Deputy City Manager; Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD, Director, Health]
Attachments: 1. Memo, 2. DRAFT Ordinance, 3. Ordinance 2018-01-11-0001, 4. Staff Presentation
DEPARTMENT: Health Department

DEPARTMENT HEAD: Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, PhD


SUBJECT: Proposed Changes to Chapter 36 (Smoking) of the City Code


An ordinance authorizing changes to Chapter 36 of the City Code to adopt the age restriction for the sale of tobacco products to 21 years of age.


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the U.S., according to the CDC. National data show that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. The ages of 18 to 21 are a critical period when many smokers move from experimental smoking to regular, daily use. People who have not used tobacco by age 21 are not likely to ever start. Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will help to prevent young people from ever starting to smoke and to reduce the deaths, disease and health care costs caused by tobacco use.

Tobacco use is associated with cancer, heart disease, behavioral and learning disorders, drug use, and pregnancy complications. Tobacco use causes half a million deaths annually and has been responsible for 20.8 million premature deaths in the U.S. over the past 50 years since the first Surgeon General's report on smoking in 1964. Nationally, the current amount of health care and lost worker productivity costs each year related to tobacco use is $300 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Individuals who begin smoking at a young age are more likely to become addicted, progress to daily smoking, become heavier tobacco users as adults, and have difficulty quitting. The U.S. Surgeon General has expressed concern about the potential long-term cognitive effects of exposure to nicotine during brain development with the potential for lasting adverse consequences. The latest local statistics available show that in 2013, 12.6% male and 9.9% female Bexar County high school students currently smoke. Nationwide, a new tre...

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