Supporters of a T21 ordinance packed the Stevens County Board of Commissioners meeting. The measure passed unanimously and will become law August 2 after a 30 day public comment period. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a T21 ordinance at Tuesday morning’s board meeting at the Stevens County Courthouse. The measure bans the sale of tobacco products, including vaping materials, to those under the age of 21. About two dozen supporters of the measure came to the second public reading of the ordinance, an effort that has been spearheaded by Horizon Public Health.

Speaking in support of the measure were Dr. Jason Huikko of Stevens Community Medical Center, who detailed the medical problems associated with young people smoking; Kitty Mahoney, a nurse who works on the college campus who said students often don’t realize how much money they’re wasting on tobacco products; a young girl named Ella who was concerned about animals choking on cigarette butts, and incoming Hancock High School senior Parker Schmidgall, who hopes the measure will decrease the vaping he sees going on in his school, including the back of the classrooms.

There is a 30 day comment period on the ordinance which members of the public can do at the Courthouse or on the County’s website. After that, the measure becomes law effective August 2.

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