City of Columbus joins other central Ohio cities to raise minimum age to purchase tobacco

Posted on: December 13, 2016 10:30 am

Columbus City Council voted Monday night to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco. Starting in September 2017, Individuals hoping to purchase tobacco or tobacco products will have to be 21. 

"Ninety-five percent of smokers start before age 21. So if we cut off that supply of 20-year-olds to 17-year-olds to prevent kids from starting? That's what we're looking for," said Dr. Rob Crane, President of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.

Tobacco is the foremost preventable cause of premature death in America with nearly a half a million deaths annually. In 2015 the Institutes of Medicine concluded that raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco and tobacco products nationally will reduce tobacco initiation, specifically with young people (ages 15-17), improve health across the lifespan and save lives; and over time will lead to a 12% decrease in smoking prevalence. The new Tobacco 21 law bans the sale of paraphernalia and products to anyone under 21 including hookah, cigars, cigarettes, papers, and vapor.

Columbus joins other central Ohio cities including New Albany, Bexley, Upper Arlington and Grandview. 

"We applaud the Capital City and communities across Ohio who value Ohio's most important asset, it's people! Initiatives like Tobacco 21 help promote public health and prevention science which not only positively impacts individuals, but it's good for neighborhoods, communities and the State." said Jim Ryan, ADAPAO Executive Director 

Download a copy of the legislation here