Ohio law taking effect requires cigarette buyers to be 21

Ohio
Cigarette, Smoke, Ashtray_135936

FILE – In this Saturday, March 2, 2013, photo, a cigarette burns in an ashtray at a home in Hayneville, Ala. A government study released on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, shows that even though fewer U.S. teens are smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke remains a big problem. Nearly half of nonsmoking kids in middle school […]

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new Ohio law taking effect Thursday raises the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Ohio is one of 18 states that have raised the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products. The law signed in July by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also applies to rolling papers, filters and other smoking and vaping accessories.

Violations could lead to penalties for both the seller and buyer. State officials say it also will become illegal to give such products to someone under 21.

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%.

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