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Government & Politics

Enforcement Will Make All the Difference if Akron Raises the Age to Buy Tobacco to 21

a photo of a cigarette
A new ordinance could raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases in Akron in an effort to curb addiction in young people.

Akron is considering a new ordinance that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. This change which has already been implemented in Columbus and Cleveland has led to mixed results.

Rob Crane is an Ohio doctor and a member of the activist group Tobacco 21 which has been pushing for raising the age nationally. He says the change has had no effect in Cleveland due to a lack of enforcement but Columbus has seen different results.  

“I think this tale of two cities, Cleveland and Columbus, is a very important point for Akron and Summit County to do this well, to enforce stringently, and to keep kids out of the cross-hairs of the tobacco industry,” said Crane.

Crane expects Akron to have more success since it has a plan to check for compliance along with fines and license suspensions for stores that don’t.