Upper Arlington has banned the sale of tobacco products to those under the age of 21.
The city is the first in Ohio to pass the bill. The new law is set to include e-cigarettes as well. CEO of Muskingum Behavioral Health Steve Carrel said the changes could decrease the number of under eighteen smokers as well.
“There was a study done showing 90 percent of 18-21 year olds who are buying tobacco are supplying kids who are under the age of 18,” said Carrel. “I found that really significant because if Upper Arlington can interrupt to some degree that 18-21 year old supply chain to the younger kids then there should be some further decrease in tobacco use in Upper Arlington.
The law will go into effect in 30 days. Carrel said the City Council’s move to vote on the law is a positive one.
“We also know that the big tobacco companies won’t admit to it but there’s documentation that they intentionally made their product more addictive and a city like Upper Arlington taking a stand on these things I think is real positive step forward for public health,” said Carrel.
Upper Arlington hopes that other cities in Ohio will consider making the same change and Bexley council members are considering raising the limit in the area.