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New law takes effect in Ohio, raises age for cigarette sales

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WPTA21) – Ohio on Thursday became the latest state to raise the minimum age for the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21.

The new age limit — which replaces the long-established age of 18 — covers the following types of products:

  • Cigarettes
  • Electronic smoking devices (vapes, e-cigs, tanks)
  • Cigars
  • Pipe tobacco
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Snuff
  • Snus
  • Dissolvable nicotine products
  • Filters, rolling papers, pipes, blunts, or hemp wraps
  • Liquids used in electronic smoking devices (whether or not they contain nicotine)
  • Vapor products (any component, part or additive that is intended for use in an electronic smoking device, a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit and is used to deliver the product, see ORC 2927.02 for full list)

Violations could lead to penalties for both the seller and buyer. First offender sellers can be up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $250.

The establishment that employs the seller can also be fined as much as $2,000.

The governor and other supporters of the change say the new law is intended to help prevent children from becoming smokers. National statistics have shown Ohio has one of the highest rates of adult smokers at just over 21%.

Additional information on the Ohio law is available here.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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