FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has struck down a Genesee County ban on tobacco sales and related products to people under 21.

The county can’t adopt a regulation that is stricter than state law, which allows tobacco sales to anyone who is at least 18, the appeals court said Tuesday.

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In a 3-0 opinion, the court affirmed a decision by a Flint-area judge. The ordinance was approved by county commissioners in 2017 but hasn’t been enforced because of a lawsuit.

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Supporters of the ordinance said it was intended to discourage young people from smoking. The ordinance didn’t ban young adults from using tobacco products in Genesee County.

University of Michigan researchers say raising the age to buy tobacco could save thousands of lives.

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