Council Raises Age to Buy Tobacco Products From 18 to 21

April 19, 2018

Council passed legislation Monday evening raising the legal age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 within city limits. The legislation, often referred to as "Tobacco 21," could meaningfully reduce teen smoking and infant mortality rates according to proponents. The new law does not make it illegal for an 18-year old to smoke or vape, but he or she will have to travel outside city limits to buy tobacco products. Health officials who supported the legislation said that more than 50 percent of tobacco retailers in Summit County are in Akron. More than 290 cities across 19 states have increased the age for tobacco sales to 21. Since 2015, nine Ohio cities including Cleveland and Columbus have passed similar laws.