#parents | #teensvaping | City council to consider pilot program to track tobacco product marketing



The Columbia City Council will vote Tuesday whether to take part in a pilot program that would gather data on tobacco retailers in the city.

The program is run by Counter Tools – Truth Initiative. Truth Initiative is an anti-tobacco advocacy group. According to a memo on the city council agenda, Counter Tools offers consulting, training and software tools to help gather data on retailers.

The program would run until Aug. 22.

City leaders have been considering several ways to regulate tobacco products in an effort, in part, to reduce the number of teenagers who use vaping products such as JUUL.

In November, the council reviewed a report from the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health asking the council to temporarily ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products within city limits.

A group of people protested the idea of a temporary ban using the slogan “We vape we vote.” They stated there are already preventative steps to keep teenagers from smoking.

The council ultimately decided to ask the board for a more in-depth report.

In December, the Youth Advisory Council presented recommendations to the council to reduce the number of youth abusing e-cigarette products. The group wanted the council to consider regulating flavored nicotine products and potentially look into a minimum price requirement.

The council meets at 7 p.m. at Columbia City Hall.

Check back for updates on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 9 and 10.

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