Topeka Council to consider appeal of tobacco sales ordinance ruling

(WIBW/Shawn Wheat)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka city officials want to re-instate an ordinance banning people under the age of 21 from buying tobacco-related products.

At Tuesday's meeting, Topeka City Manager Brent Trout will ask the city council to approve appealing a recent court ruling that struck down the ordinance on tobacco sales. The measure, approved last December, prohibited selling cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21. The current age is 18.

A Shawnee Co. judge ruled in March that the ordinance unconstitutionally conflicted with state law.

City Attorney Lisa Robertson is recommending the council move forward with an appeal.

"This case has significant public interest (tobacco use among young adults) as well as presenting an important legal issue involving cities' constitutional home rule authority," Robertson wrote in a memo included wit Tuesday's council agenda.

Robertson said there would be no additional cost to the city, since her office would handle the appeal internally.

Shawnee Co. Commissioners approved a similar ordinance last fall for unincorporated areas of the county. So far, it has not been formally challenged.