Pima County Supervisors on Tuesday delayed a vote on a proposal that would raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Following a nearly two-hour hearing, the board sent the proposal back to the county health department. Additional community meetings are expected and the matter could return to the board for a vote next month.
During Tuesday's discussion, 17 people spoke about the issue, with several raising concerns about the process used to bring the proposal to a vote and the penalties that could be leveled against businesses were raised.
Representatives from the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Network, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Tucson Medical Center and several recent TUSD graduates all urged supervisors to pass the ordinance.
Several people expressed opposition to the ordinance, including representatives from Circle K, Quik Mart and the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce, who all said that while stakeholders were part of the ordinance's drafting, they were never brought back in once the ordinance was written to weigh in on the final version.
Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy both voted against the continuation, saying that they'd be unlikely to vote for the ordinance even with changes.
The board's action today could affect a planned vote at the City Council tonight.