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As more cities and counties raise tobacco age, state lawmakers may be asked to intervene

December 28, 2017

Lawrence Journal-World,

Peter Hancock,

December 24, 2017-

As a group in Lawrence prepares a strong push for local regulations that would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21, efforts may be underway at the state level to push for a law that would pre-empt the ability of local governments to enact such laws. Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia, confirmed Thursday that he has requested an attorney general’s opinion about whether such local ordinances are allowed under current law.

In a telephone interview, Longbine said he asked for the opinion at the request of someone outside the Legislature, and that he personally has no position on the matter. He did not identify the person or organization that asked for the opinion. “I don’t have a dog in that hunt,” Longbine said. His request, however, came around the same time that the city of Topeka passed such an ordinance on Dec. 5.

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