Lawrence officials consider hiking the smoking age

Amy Cobb, 15, left, and Carlee Sandberg, 15, smoke in a Kennewick, Wash., park Friday afternoon, June 12, 1998. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Andre Ranieri)
By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Health officials in the Lawrence area are starting a task force to examine increasing the minimum age at which people can legally buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Lawrence Tobacco 21 Task Force will begin meeting Thursday.

The tobacco sales minimum age already is 21 in more than 270 municipalities in 18 states. Most of the Kansas City metro area has switched in recent years, as well as communities in other parts of the state, such as Iola in the southeast and Garden City out west.

Chris Tilden, of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, says it's "time to work with communities in Douglas County and see if we can get something on the books like these other communities across the state and nation."