Goodyear Raises Tobacco Purchase Age To 21, Bans Vaping On City Property
Goodyear is now the third city in Arizona to have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21.
The unanimously passed ordinance amends the city’s 2002 smoking ban to include vaping materials. In addition to raising the tobacco purchase age, the ordinance prohibits vaping on city property, in city parks, and on city-owned hiking trails. It also restricts the possession and use of vaping materials on school campuses and at school-sponsored events.
“We’ve been hearing from other cities and other states” that had passed similar legislation said Mayor Georgia Lord. “If you look at Michigan, they actually passed a state law. So I think it has grown to the point where finally council decided they wanted to do something about it.
Individual violators of this ordinance will face fines ranging from $100 for a first offense to $2,500 and a Class 1 misdemeanor for a fourth violation in 24 months.
Over the next 90 days, Goodyear police will be rolling out a public awareness campaign to educate the community on the particulars of the ordinance. Police will be visiting middle and high schools and working with retail owners for outreach.
“After that time, we’ll be able to enforce the ordinance,” said Goodyear Police Chief Jerry Geier. “It will be zero tolerance for retailers selling to those under 21 years old.”
Businesses that knowingly sell tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — to people under the age of 21 could face fines of up to $20,000. Individuals who sell or provide tobacco or e-cigarettes to underage buyers face mandatory minimum fines of $500.
Alex Nelson owns a retail store in Goodyear that sells e-cigarettes. During the public comment portion of the hearing, Nelson said the law should fine children and focus on knock-off cartridges.
Retailers in the city would be required to physically check ID, according to the city attorney.
Goodyear City Councilmember Sheri Lauritano talked to The Show about why the city decided the time was right to enact this change.