Ohio Raises the Tobacco Selling Age to 21
(July 18, 2019) - COLUMBUS, Ohio
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Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the state budget bill, which included a law raising the legal sales age of tobacco products to 21. The American Lung Association praises state lawmakers for passing the law, known as Tobacco 21, which is vital to community health.
“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.”
Since nearly 95% of adult smokers report trying their first cigarette before the age of 21, raising the legal sales age can prevent young people from ever starting. Every day, close to 2,000 youth under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 300 kids become regular daily smokers. Two-thirds of 10th grade students and nearly half of 8th grade students say it is easy to get cigarettes. According to the National Academy of Medicine report, younger kids often rely on older friends, classmates and peers to buy their tobacco products. Because students typically do not reach 21 years old while still in high school, Ohio’s law will greatly reduce the number of high school students who have easy access to tobacco products.
With the signing of this bill, Ohio becomes the 18th state in the U.S. to adopt a Tobacco 21 law.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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