COLUMBIA, Mo. - A person must be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco and vaping products in Columbia.
The city is now requiring stores selling these items to get a license by June 30.
Dr. Gaurav A. Kulkarni, a local child psychiatrist, said some young people have found a loophole. He said youth have turned from brick and mortar stores to instead buy from online retailers.
"It's a big loop hole," Kulkarni said. "That's part of something we need to probably work on with more stricter regulations."
He said it's fairly easy to enter a false age online. Many websites require the buyer to check a box to verify they're over 21-years-old.
Kulkarni said awareness and education is important to stop underage people from buying e-cigarettes.
"It's critical to have an open dialogue and an open communication to discuss the risk," he said.