County sets public hearing to discuss raising smoking age to 21

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, February 2, 2016

NATCHEZ — Young adults in Adams County may have to curb their tobacco habits.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors announced Monday the county will hold a public hearing to discuss a proposed county ordinance that would raise the smoking age to 21.

Currently all Mississippi counties allow the sale of tobacco to 18-year-olds, but board president Mike Lazarus said he wants Adams County to be the first in the state to make it unlawful to sell tobacco to anyone under 21.

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Lazarus said he hopes to prevent teenagers from ever picking up a tobacco habit.

“I think everyone in this room knows someone who wishes they just never started smoking,” he said.

Lazarus said 18 year olds, especially high school students, are pressured into buying cigarettes for their friends.

“Some 18 year olds hang out with 16 year olds,” Lazarus said. “But 21 year olds don’t.”

The date and time of the public hearing has not yet been decided, but county attorney Scott Slover said it would be advertised in advance.