Topeka, Kansas — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that cities have the power to raise the age for buying tobacco products even though state law sets it at 18.
The unanimous decision Friday overturns a lower-court order that blocked Topeka from enforcing an ordinance increasing the age for buying tobacco to 21.
A company operating Vapebar Topeka and Puffs ‘n’ Stuff challenged the ordinance just before it was to take effect in January 2018. It argued that the ordinance conflicted with the state law setting the age 18.
But the Supreme Court said nothing in the law prevents a city from setting a higher age. More than 20 cities and counties in Kansas have set the age at 21.
A company attorney said businesses will face a “patchwork quilt” of regulations.