Akron tobacco sales

photo of juuls, vaping
ANNA HUNTSMAN / WKSU

A new service launched by the Ohio Department of Health this month offers free, confidential help for people under 18 who are trying to stop using e-cigarettes and tobacco – a growing issue that the Surgeon General is calling an epidemic.

The “My Life, My Quit” initiative is an outgrowth of the Ohio Tobacco Quit phone line for adults. But the new program for teens offers help over the phone, by text or online.

Summit County Sees Signs of a Teen Vaping Epidemic

Feb 12, 2019
photo of juuls
Anna Huntsman / WKSU

E-cigarettes are branded as alternatives to cigarettes that can help people stop smoking. But teenagers are using these devices to start smoking. Schools across Summit County have seen an increase in vaping, and local health officials are working to combat the issue that’s now considered a national epidemic.

Photo of Akron City Council
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

Akron’s minimum age to buy tobacco products is going up from 18 to 21. But opponents and even some supporters are expressing reservations.

After a month of debate, the final Akron City Council vote was eight in favor, three opposed and two abstentions. Among the opponents was Marilyn Keith, who questioned why the city should block what would otherwise be a legal sale to an adult.

“I believe that if I am for this legislation, I am saying that adults at 18, 19, and 20 are incompetent and cannot make this decision for themselves, so we must make it for them.”