Smoking age raised to 21

By Ivy Potter - [email protected]

The legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco related products in Ohio has jumped from 18 to 21 as of Thursday, making Ohio the 18th state to implement similar legislation.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Am. Sub. House Bill 166, Ohio’s FY’20-‘21 general operating budget, into law on Thursday morning, in which DeWine vetoed a grandfather clause which would have exempted individuals between the ages 18-20 prior to October 1. The law will prevent the sale of tobacco-related items such as rolling papers, filters, wrappers, liquids and other accessories, in addition to cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21.

Additionally, under the law permitting a person under twenty-one years of age to use cigarettes, other tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

The change in the law is expected to cost Ohio approximately $20 million in lost cigarette taxes.

According to the Governor’s website, the budget will work to provide targeted resources to children and families, as well as to Ohio’s education system, workforce, local communities, environment, and mental health and addiction recovery efforts.

“I am proud that this budget will significantly impact the lives of Ohioans through its unprecedented investments,” said DeWine. “It lays the groundwork for a better Ohio for generations to come. This budget will lead to healthier children, stronger families, safer communities, an enhanced workforce, and a more prosperous Ohio, while also providing significant tax relief for every Ohio taxpayer and regulatory relief for Ohio businesses.”

By Ivy Potter

[email protected]