Here's everything you need to know about SA's new minimum age ordinance on tobacco


SAN ANTONIO – On Thursday, San Antonio's City Council voted to increase the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 -- making San Antonio the first city in Texas to do so.

Here's what you need to know about the ordinance before it takes effect in October.

Where does this ordinance apply?

The ordinance is applicable in San Antonio. If you are in suburbs like Alamo Heights, Hollywood Park, Shavano Park and Castle Hills, you are free to buy cigarettes if you are 18 years old; or older.

When does it take effect?

The ordinance takes effect on Oct. 1, 2018.

Is it just cigarettes?

No, the ordinance includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs and chewing tobacco.

Why was this ordinance introduced?

Metro Health said, in part, "The public health measure is intended to reduce the number of young consumers of tobacco products and, in time, reduce overall tobacco addiction."

Who else has similar laws or ordinances in place?

"San Antonio now joins five states and more than 290 U.S. communities in 19 states to increase the tobacco sale age to 21 to protect youth from the harms of tobacco use," Metro Health said in a release.

Who voted for or against the ordinance?

Voting in favor of the ordinance were Mayor Ron Nirenberg, council members Roberto Trevino, William Cruz Shaw, Rebecca Viagran, Rey Saldana, Shirley Gonzales, Ana Sandoval, Manny Palaez and John Courage.

Councilmen Greg Brockhouse and Clayton Perry voted against it.

What happens if someone is caught selling tobacco products?

Under the revised ordinance, retailers would be cited if caught selling tobacco to anyone under the new age. The person attempting to buy, however, would not be cited.