Tobacco 21 is a national campaign to raise the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 years of age, Ohio is one that has already raised the age to 21. So why raise the age? Raising the age of tobacco sales helps to protect the youth of the community, kids who use tobacco commonly get it from people between ages 18-20, youth addicted to nicotine are 7 times more likely to have a drug use disorder, the youth brain is still developing during the late teens and early 20s, and the probability of nicotine addiction is especially high during this time.

The raising of the legal age to purchase tobacco products is proven to work, Tobacco 21 has been proven to reduce youth adoption rates by as much as 50%, just 2% of tobacco sales (under 21) produce 90% of new smokers, 95% of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. Research shows that a sales age of 21 across the U.S. could result in, 286,000 fewer pre-term births, and 438,000 fewer babies with low birth weight. Smoking-related illnesses hurt our health and our wealth. Hospital patients who smoke have longer stays and higher medical costs than non-smokers. 1 in 5 Ohioans smoke but cost each household about $1,077 per year in annual federal and state tax burden due to smoking-related costs and illness, a sales age of 21 across the US would save society an estimated $212 billion over a 50-year period.

For more information about Tobacco 21, contact:

Ryan Sturgeon
Public Health Educator and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS)

Erie County Public Health
(419)-626-5623 ext 5175