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The St. Louis County Council votes tonight to decide whether to raise the age limit to purchase tobacco products to 21. We support that measure, but not as it currently reads.

Councilman Page has sponsored Bill 199 which includes vapor products and ecigs in the definition of tobacco and smoking. That provision is misguided and could have the opposite effect of keeping young people addicted to tobacco cigarettes and to creating new addictions in our young people.

We ask the County Council to amend the bill to exclude vapor products for the following reasons:

Vaping is NOT Smoking - Vapor products contain no tobacco or anything derived from tobacco except nicotine, which is used in small amounts only in some vapor products. Young people who try vapor products typically use zero nicotine liquid, so there is absolutely no similarity to the combustible, addictive and carcinogen laden tobacco cigarettes.

Vaping is NOT a Gateway to Smoking Combustible Cigarettes

Vaping is a far safer alternative to smoking.

Vaping is an effective tool to help smokers kick the habit.

Restricting access to vapor products could cause young people to begin and continue to smoke combustible cigarettes.

Young people who already smoke are more likely to quit smoking using vapor products than any other available smoking cessation or nicotine harm reduction product.

We request the Council amend Bill 199 to exclude vapor products. Amending the bill will result in fewer young smokers in St. Louis County, a goal upon which we all agree.


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