The Associated Press is reporting that Kansas City (in both Missouri and Kansas) has passed an ordinance to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.
New York City is the only other major metro area to enact this measure, but possibly this will be the beginning of a new trend that may result in reduced numbers of young people smoking in the U.S.
“The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is spearheading the metro-wide effort, called Tobacco 21/KC, which is part of a national initiative by the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation to get communities across the country to raise the legal age.”
Cigarette smoking continues to be the largest preventable killer in the U.S. claiming nearly 500,000 deaths each year. It is estimated that cigarette related illness costs $300 billion in care and lost productivity. 
Smoking among adolescents is lower than it has been in decades at around 15%, and the hopes are that this measure by officials in Kansas City will help reduce it even further by making it more difficult for teenagers to obtain cigarettes (though 18-20 year olds will still be able to buy cigarettes in neighboring areas even if this ordinance becomes law).
Even so, the councils in Kansas City deserve credit and applause for taking this step. Sweeping reforms are often slow and hard to come by, but each small act step in the right direction is commendable.