PHILLIPS COUNTY, Ark. — A county in eastern Arkansas is the first in the natural state to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

City officials in Phillips County approved the change back in July. It’s going to take effect in a few days.

Members of the Phillips County Quorum Court told our sister station in Little Rock they are confident in their decision to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco in hopes of improving health. 

But others in town were unsure how successful it would be considering its close proximity to other counties and even other states.

“You can’t stop nobody from doing what they want to do.” 

“I think it’s a good idea because it helps to slow the influence of younger children.”

According to county health rankings, Phillips County has the highest percentage of smokers in the state with 26 percent.