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Government & Politics

Proposed State Budget Would Raise Tobacco Buying Age

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton

Governor Mike DeWine’s proposed budget includes a provision that would bring the state less revenue – but it’s not a tax cut. 

Raising the buying age from 18 to 21 statewide would cut down on the numbers of young people who start smoking, says Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton. But it could also help with infant mortality among young mothers, and could stop huge increases in the use of electronic cigarettes.

“From the National Youth Tobacco Survey, there has been a 78% increase in use of high school students in the past year, 48% increase in middle school students.”

And she also notes a somewhat surprising poll from the Centers for Disease Control.

“7 out of 10 smokers feel that the age should be raised to 21.”

The state estimates it will lose nearly $40 million in revenue by raising the age. But Acton says billions are spent nationally each year on smoking related illness.