The Smyrna City Council has approved banning the use, sale and possession of tobacco products for anyone under the age of 21.
Council members on Monday unanimously supported the ban, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. City Councilman Tim Gould sponsored the measure, which Smyrna said was proposed after educators from one high school and two middle schools said they’ve seen an increase in the use of e-cigarettes among young people.
Gould added young people are really “vulnerable” to the addictive nature of tobacco products, whether they are in the form of traditional cigarettes or vaping products.
“It’s hard to imagine any group not being supportive in protecting the health and safety of our kids,” he said.
Gould told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that “a lot of work” went into researching the topic before it was presented for consideration. Smyrna held public input sessions on the proposals and brought in experts who discussed the dangers and long-term consequences of e-cigarette use.
Gould said the delay in the ordinance going into effect will allow retailers to get used to the change. He also said Smyrna will send out notices to stores informing them of the new law.
Mayor Max Bacon, who also supported the measure, said he will send a copy of the city’s ordinance to County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce, District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott and Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin for their jurisdictions to consider.
“Smyrna will be one of the first to do what’s right, and I think other jurisdictions will follow,” he said.
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