City considers its own 21-and-over tobacco purchasing law

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — Lebanon, New Hampshire, will consider raising the minimum purchasing age for tobacco to 21 under a new ordinance, despite a recent federal law that mandates the same.

Like the new federal tobacco law that took effect Jan. 1, the proposal would also require those purchasing tobacco — including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco — to be at least 21, Valley News reported Monday.

The Lebanon City Council will discuss a draft of the proposal, which is supported by the mayor, law enforcement and public health officials, at a meeting Wednesday.

The federal law overrode a new state law — which also went into effect Jan. 1 — increasing the tobacco age to 19. New Hampshire lawmakers have since worked to pass another law increasing the age to 21 to match federal requirements. The bill passed the Senate on Jan. 8 and has gone to the House.

Some retailers said the different laws have created confusion and that another law at the municipal level doesn't make sense.

A public hearing on the issue would be required before the ordinance could take effect.