Independence city leaders seek healthier road, decrease in tobac - KCTV5

Independence city leaders seek healthier road, decrease in tobacco sales

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On Monday, the city council approved an amendment to decrease the maximum number of tobacco stores and convenience stores that do not sell fuel from the currently allowed 14 to seven. (KCTV5) On Monday, the city council approved an amendment to decrease the maximum number of tobacco stores and convenience stores that do not sell fuel from the currently allowed 14 to seven. (KCTV5)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

City leaders in Independence are taking steps to decrease the number of tobacco stores in the city.

On Monday, the city council approved an amendment to decrease the maximum number of tobacco stores and convenience stores that do not sell fuel from the currently allowed 14 to seven. That reduction will leave one store per 15,000 residents.

Independence data from the government-sponsored Monitoring The Future survey reflected a national increase in “other” tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and flavored cigars, with more students using electronic cigarettes, than regular cigarettes, and 35-percent of surveyed students believing that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.

“In our Strategic Plan, Independence for All, we outline the need to improve public health. Tonight’s change does just that,” Council member Curt Dougherty said. “While our Tobacco 21 initiative has moved us in the right direction, tobacco is still the nation’s number one cause of preventable death. There are still statistics showing our youth do not understand the dangers of these tobacco products.”

The existing stores will be allowed to continue; however, a new store will not be allowed in the city until there are less than seven stores.

Independence residents posted mixed reactions to the amendment on Facebook.

Some were supportive of the move.

"Please do what has to be done to keep those underage from acquiring tobacco products," Kelly Meyers said.

"Good for the city, now they need to clean up all the rundown buildings that no one is maintaining, especially on 24 Highway," another resident said.

Others were against it.

"How about you City Counsel people focus more on decreasing the number of payday loans around here that are ripping people off, cleaning up all the trash scattered throughout our city and helping the homeless," Lillie Lafferty Gould posted.

"That is your solution? Much more serious issues in this city then shutting down small business owners," Rod Laizure said.

"People will spend their money elsewhere and you will lose all the city tax dollars," Janice Fleet said.

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