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Columbia residents react to smoking-related ordinances to be voted on Monday

Monday, the Columbia City Council is set to vote on three smoking-related ordinances.

Those include raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, raising the age for vapor products and e-cigarettes to 21 and banning the use of vapor products indoors.

First Ward City Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick introduced the ordinance of raising the legal age of selling tobacco products to the council in September.

The council has received very little push-back from the community to pass the ordinances, Chadwick said.

Saturday, residents in Columbia had a mixed reaction to the proposed ordinances.

“I think it should definitely be raised,” Columbia resident Colleen Sullivan said. “I’ve actually been personally effected, my grandpa was paralyzed half of his body because of smoking. So I really think that they should raise the age to 21.”

But others disagreed.

“If you’re able to fight for your country at 18 but not have a cigarette, I think that’s kind of ridiculous,” Columbia resident Gabriela Galaz said. “Also, even though I don’t really like cigarettes, it does bring in a lot of taxes and income for the community so that would take out a bunch of revenue.”

“I don’t think it’s really going to change anything,” Columbia resident Cole Grenfild said. “I know I got cigarettes when I was 15 without much trouble. So it’ll only really take money away from businesses.”

“I think that it would be a great idea,” Columbia resident Stacy Rolfe said. “I think that anything to prevent kids from getting cigarettes is a great idea. Why wouldn’t you want that to not be in their hands?”

Chadwick said she does not think the council will table any of the proposed ordinances Monday and expects they will vote on all three.

If the council votes to pass the ordinances, they will take effect immediately, Chadwick said.

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