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Upper Arlington Raises Legal Tobacco Age To 21

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The resolution had broad support from public health officials.

Teenagers trying to buy cigarettes will need to go somewhere besides Upper Arlington.

The city council has voted unanimously to raise the legal age for purchasing any tobacco products to 21 years of age.

The resolution also applies to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine products.

Nine people spoke in support of the proposal at Monday night’s council meeting. The measure had broad suport of health officials, including Dr. Rob Crane, associate professor of family medicine at Ohio State University, who spearheaded the effort.

The only person to speak against it was a 19-year-old man who said the new law tells 18-to-20 year olds they’re too immature to make their own life choices.

The resolution takes effect next month.

WOSU's Marilyn Smith spoke with a director of public health in Massachusetts, where a similar law has been in affect for about 10 years.  Listen to Smith's conversation with Timothy McCarthy from Needham, Mass.