Jun 21, 2016 2:38 PM

Portland raises minimum age to buy cigarettes


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Portland is the first municipality in Maine to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The City Council voted on Monday night to make the change, which will take effect in 30 days. The bill’s sponsor says city officials should convince surrounding towns and the state to follow suit.

The Portland Press Herald reports volunteers with the American Cancer Society spoke in favor of the change.

Councilors were also presented with a petition signed by many convenience store owners whose businesses sell tobacco. Cigaret Shopper owner Ken Nagle says the new rules are an example of government overreach.

About 135 communities around the country have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products. California became the first state to do so last month.

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