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Tempe considers license for retailers to sell tobacco

Tempe is considering making retailers buy a license to sell tobacco in the city. 

A proposal from a council committee calls for a citywide registry of businesses that sell tobacco, along with a process to revoke licenses for retailers who repeatedly sell to minors.

It also suggests raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21. Federal law already prohibits purchases to anyone under 21, but Arizona does not have a similar state law. 

According to the 2022 Arizona Youth Survey, more than 35% of 12th graders have used cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, sometimes called vapes. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive.

Tempe will hold two community meetings and an online survey in March before the council takes up the issue in April or May.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.