Anchorage is raising the minimum age to 21 for residents to buy tobacco and nicotine products.
The Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday night for a new measure that makes it illegal to sell cigarettes, electronic smoking devices and other similar products to anyone under 21 years old.
The move follows similar decisions by Sitka and hundreds of other communities across the country to raise the age for legally purchasing nicotine products.
Emily Nenon with the American Cancer Society said illness related to smoking is a major public health problem.
“There are a lot of problems we’re facing in this city, and some people may even say, ‘What’s this? What’s so important about this?’ This piece is about the fact that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in Alaska,” Nenon said.
Nenon said a third of all cancer deaths are related to smoking.
The measure places fines on retailers who sell tobacco or nicotine products to anyone under 21. The new rule goes into effect in 30 days.
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- The Alaska Department of Revenue forecasts $187.3 million less in state revenue this year than it did in the spring. The department released the forecast on Friday.
- In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
- Anchorage natural gas company ENSTAR is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year's major earthquake.
- “We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.