Mo. senator seeks new age limit on tobacco sellers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri senator wants to bar stores from letting clerks younger than 18 sell tobacco products.

Sen. Kiki Curls, a Kansas City Democrat, told a Senate committee Wednesday that allowing teens under 18 to sell tobacco could make it easier for minors to start smoking or chewing at a young age.

She said clerks under 18 also have a difficult time turning down buyers who are under 18, potentially allowing minors to purchase tobacco products.

Under her proposal, stores that allow minors to sell tobacco would be fined as much as $500 per violation.

Retail organizations opposed the measure, saying it could hurt grocery stores and gas stations that employ high school students as clerks.