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21 to buy tobacco products law not in effect

Although Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law that would raise the age to buy tobacco and related products from 18 to 21, it hasn’t taken effect yet as previously reported. It is expected to go into effect in mid-October.

Since it is a change to an existing law, it should take effect within three months. The information will then be posted on Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s website to inform businesses that sell tobacco products.

“Provisions that do not include an appropriation or do not have a specific effective date are usually effective 90 days after the bill is filed. The bill was filed with our office on July 18th. We do not post effective dates until bills are returned from the Legislative Service Commission,” explained Maggie Sheehan, a press secretary for the Secretary of State’s office.

DeWine signed the state budget on Thursday, which included wording to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 to buy cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, rolling papers and vaping liquid. It also puts a 10 cent per milliliter tax on vaping products.

Ohio has now joined 17 other states that raised the smoking age to 21 including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. There were 23 cities in Ohio, including Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, where a person had to be 21 to buy smoking products.