Alachua becomes first county in Florida to raise minimum tobacco buying age

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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) — Alachua County will become the first in the state to implement a tobacco ordinance that raises the minimum age for tobacco sales.

The ordinance was passed unanimously and will raise the age of tobacco sales to 21. Vendors will have to apply for a one year license to sell tobacco products and vendors won't be able to sell within a thousand feet of a public school.

County Commissioner Ken Cornell says "it is definitely an epidemic... to the PTA, to every child's vision, make every child's vision a reality, public health is important and the public health of our kids is the most important.

“I just think it’s a severe overreach and overstepping of the government ability to make decisions on behalf of myself," Jarrod Rodriguez, 19, said.

If a license is revoked for violations, it cannot be re-issued. Each city within the county has time to opt out of the ordinance, which will take effect in 9 months.