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Government & Politics

Under 21 in Cleveland? No Cigarette Sales for You

Picture of a burning cigarette
Tomasz Sienicki

Starting tomorrow, retailers in Cleveland will only be allowed to sell tobacco products to people who are 21 or older. Under the old law. the minimum age is 18.

As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the new law is aimed at helping to prevent young people from becoming smokers.

Cleveland spokesman Daniel Ball says raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products is based on an Ohio State University study.

“They found that smokers began smoking under the age of 21, so they’re able to access and buy these cigarettes right around 18, 19 years of age. So if we bump that age up to 21, we will eliminate drastically those smokers who began smoking when they were younger.”

Retailers are required to post a sign showing the new age requirement, and they must ask for proof of age from anyone who doesn’t look at least 30. Violating the law is a fourth-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of as much as 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. A second violation is a third-degree misdemeanor, which doubles the potential penalties.