One lawmaker in our state wants to make tobacco rules more uniform in Arizona. But some parents are concerned that it would make it easier for kids to buy tobacco.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As vaping gets more popular with teenagers, some Valley parents are fighting for cities to crack down with tougher regulations. "Finding out that my child had been exposed and had vaped was really terrifying for me," said Phoenix mom Ylenia Aguilar.

She's began trying to get cities to make stricter rules on the product. State Representative Justin Wilmeth is sponsoring HB 2682, which would take some of those decisions from cities.

"There will be state regulations in place that will prevent cities from basically making their own rules along the way and getting things very confused," said Wilmeth. "It will make us conform to the federal mandate of 21 years old for vaping, and we have a standard across the state, so it's not a patchwork."

Right now, each city makes its own rules on where tobacco and vaping products are sold. Under Wilmeth's bill, he said cities can still regulate sales of tobacco within 1,000 feet of schools.

However, existing stores would be allowed to stay as long as they're more than 300 feet away from schools, and cities would not be able to do anything about it.

"If a store has been around for awhile, they're grandfathered in," said Wilmeth. "They won't be touched by this."

Wilmeth said stores would lose their grandfather status if they've had four violations within three years.

Outside that one-thousand feet from schools, the state would decide where tobacco can be sold and advertised.

"We feel like this is the best way to protect our youth and keep it out of the hands of youth while still making it available for adults trying to get off of cigarettes," said Wilmeth.

Arizona Director of Government Relations for The American Cancer Society, Cancer and Action Network, Brian Hummell, wants cities to keep their power.

"The state is very slow to act," said Hummell. "We've had an E-cigarette crisis for Arizona and the country for years, and the state has taken no action."

"The city should have local control, just like school boards have local control, to pass an ordinance that would be suitable for its constituents vs. the state not doing what is correct for the goodwill of the people," said Aguilar.

Wilmeth said the bill has its final read in the house this week. If it passes, it could be on the Governor's desk by Friday and would go into effect by the end of the year.


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