Tobacco 21

photo of Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. Mike DeWine is revealing more about the wellness initiatives that he wants to implement for the 2.8 million people on Medicaid in Ohio, including the 677,000 in Medicaid expansion. 

DeWine said he’ll make quitting smoking one of his Medicaid wellness initiatives.

“If we can help them get healthier, it’s going to be better for them, it’ll be better for their families, and it’s going to save the state millions of dollars," he said. "So that’s coming, and we’re going to do it.”

Summit County Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

Apr 16, 2019
a photo of a cigarette
PHONRAT / SHUTTERSTOCK

A public health advocate is pleased Summit County has now banned businesses from selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 21 years old. The legislation, known as Tobacco 21, lessens the chance for teens to get their hands on popular e-cigarettes, Juuls and other paraphernalia.

The director of population health at Summit County Public Health Cory Kendrick said the use of these products among middle and high school students has resulted in the highest rates of  teen tobacco use in years.

Summit County is debating whether to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. The change already has been adopted in 17 municipalities around the state, including Akron, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

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.

Map of Tobacco 21 efforts
Tobacco21

Akron City Council is expected to vote tonight on whether to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to those under 21. Proponents hope the rest of the Summit County will follow Akron’s lead.  

Those pushing to increase the age from 18 to 21 include public health officials, pediatricians, the national group Tobacco21 and the head of the city’s effort to combat infant mortality. They note that 2 percent of tobacco sales are to people under age 21 -- but those sales end up producing 90 percent of new smokers.

a photo of a cigarette
PHONRAT / SHUTTERSTOCK

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.