Ohio raises smoking age to 21

U.S. & World

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With the signing of the state budget, the legal age for sales of tobacco products in Ohio has been raised to 21.

The bill passed by the legislature included a provision exempting people who turn 18 before October 1 from the law. DeWine vetoed that portion of the law.

“Exempting current 18 through 20-year-old individuals from the minimum age increase to purchase tobacco products could result in more of these individuals using tobacco products daily, reducing their life expectancy, and increasing Ohio’s long-term healthcare costs. Furthermore, this loophole will create a substantial administrative burden for businesses tasked with upholding the law. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest,” said DeWine.

The law affects products such as cigarettes, rolling papers, vaping products and chewing tobacco.

Ohio is the 18th state to enact a Tobacco 21 law.

“Thank you to Governor DeWine and state lawmakers for taking this tremendous step in protecting our youth from the death and disease associated with tobacco use,” said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the Lung Association. “The Ohio governor and legislators who supported this law proved that they are truly focused on the health of their constituents. With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever—protecting youth, reducing smoking rates, saving on healthcare costs and saving lives.”

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