KC civic leaders call for raise in legal age for tobacco

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City civic leaders have announced a campaign to boost the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21.

The Kansas City Star reports that the campaign is called Tobacco 21KC. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, and other organizations announced the effort Thursday morning.

The goal is to get every municipality in the metropolitan area to raise its legal age for buying tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Several cities, including New York, already have voted to increase the minimum tobacco age to 21. This year, Hawaii became the first state to do so.

Chamber of Commerce president Jim Heeter said he didn't see a downside and that the public health evidence is "overwhelming."