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Smyrna unanimously votes to prohibit people under 21 from buying tobacco products

Smyrna city council members said they hope state lawmakers follow their move to raise the smoking age statewide.

SMYRNA, Ga. — The City of Smyrna has voted to unanimously raise the smoking age from 18 years old to 21.

The city council voted 7-0 Tuesday night on an ordinance that would prohibit people under the age of 21 from buying tobacco products.

Smyrna city council members said they hope state lawmakers follow their move to raise the smoking age statewide. 

The new ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The change comes as local schools report a rise in the use of e-cigarettes among teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about one out of five high school students uses the new devices. 

RELATED: McConnell proposes raising national minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21

Nationwide, hospitals in several states are also reporting a rise in possible vaping-related lung illnesses, and Illinois officials believe the have seen their first death in the US tied to vaping. So far, the CDC said it is looking into 215 cases of lung disease possibly linked to vaping. Here in Georgia, state Department of Public Health officials are investigating several possible cases

DPH has requested that health care providers throughout Georgia ask patients with severe respiratory illness about the use of products (devices, liquids, refill pods) used for vaping nicotine and/or THC, and report possible cases to the Georgia Poison Center. 

RELATED: Verify: What we know about the risks of vaping

The agency said patients with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems should seek medical care.

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