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Surprise City Council Considers Raising Age To Buy E-Cigarettes

The Surprise City Council is considering raising the age to buy e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. This comes at the same time a new survey found that more than 6 million middle- and high-school students have used some type of tobacco or nicotine product.

Data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 1 in 3 high school students and 1 in 8 middle school students are current tobacco users. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used product.

Some Arizona towns have already upped the buying age to 21. Now, Surprise is considering something similar. 

"There’s an increasing use of these, especially vaping products by young people under the age of 21 and there is a, what I would call, a percolation effect, that seeps down to the younger ages, the 13-, the 14-, the 15-year-olds," Surprise Mayor Skip Hall said.

Hall says the city also plans to work with schools to educate students about the risks of e-cigarette and tobacco use. 

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KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.