The 'Tobacco 21' movement is one step closer to becoming a reality in Genesee County.

Tobacco 21 is a proposed prohibition on any tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21.

The movement has been gaining popularity around the country, and this morning it went before an initial vote in Genesee County.

WNEM reports that the Genesee County Board of Commissioners passed the proposal with a six to one vote.  The Tobacco 21 proposition will now head to the full board for approval.  It is expected to be approved with little resistance.

Do you think that tobacco sales should be prohibited to anyone under 21? Would you fight the prohibition if it were put into place?

Read the official statement given by Commissioner David Martin below concerning Tobacco 21.

A prohibition on tobacco sales to those under 21 (known as Tobacco 21) is on the Genesee County Board of Commissioners agenda for Monday morning, January 30, 2017, at 9am.  This regulation comes direct from public health without passing through deliberations by county commissioners in committee.  This agenda item was not published until 3:48pm on Friday, January 27.  I urge the media and public to attend and, if possible with this limited notice, to voice concerns on the transparency of governing by the county board to the commissioners.

Yes, tobacco smoke is hazardous, but this has been known for over 400 years.  Why the need to rush this ban to an immediate up or down vote without media fanfare and trumpeting the health benefits?  Why Genesee County but not the adult teens in Lapeer, Tuscola, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Oakland or Livingston counties where our effected residents could still legally buy cigarettes?  This regulation does not ban the use of tobacco by these same adults, only the purchase.  Why isn’t there a state-wide petition drive to ban this egregious health hazard through the state legislature or for a referendum ballot?

I am on record supporting a state-wide initiative to place this issue before all Michiganders.  This rush to restrict the actions of lawful adults, by a local government, without full public hearings and media announcements is not the transparency or leadership Genesee County residents deserve.

Please contact Commissioner Martin at (810) 341-5930 or DWMartin@co.genesee.mi.us.  Find your district’s commissioner at www.gc4me.com.