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Thursday, October 17, 2019

You Officially Have to Be At Least 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products in Ohio as of Today

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 1:17 PM

Starting today, Ohio state law prohibits anyone under 21 from buying tobacco and nicotine products. While Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law earlier this summer, it didn't go into full effect until now.

Ohio retailers will now be required to post a sign explaining the new law and face fines for not doing so. The first offense is a fourth-degree misdemeanor and could result in the store clerk spending up to 30 days in jail and paying $250. The retail establishment could be subject to up to $2,500 in additional fines.

Policy and legislative affairs manager at Summit County Health, Cory Kendrick, told the Akron Beacon Journal that the law can help county efforts to reduce youth smoking and vaping, which has grown in popularity over the past couple of years.

Cities like Cleveland and Akron have already enacted similar legislation, but now the law is statewide.

This law comes after the CDC linked vaping to a serious lung disease that has claimed the lives of young people across the country. Targeted ads were found to have increased vaping in the under-21 crowd by 78 percent in one year. However, much of the vaping-related illnesses have been linked to marijuana cartridges, and not nicotine.

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