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Enforcement Will Make All the Difference if Akron Raises the Age to Buy Tobacco to 21


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.

Rob Crane is an Ohio doctor and a member of the activist group Tobacco 21 which has been pushing for raising the age nationally. He says the change has had no effect in Cleveland due to a lack of enforcement but Columbus has seen different results.  

Rob Crane discusses the challenges and needs for this change to be successful

“I think this tale of two cities, Cleveland and Columbus, is a very important point for Akron and Summit County to do this well, to enforce stringently, and to keep kids out of the cross-hairs of the tobacco industry,” said Crane.

Crane expects Akron to have more success since it has a plan to check for compliance along with fines and license suspensions for stores that don’t.

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Brooke is a senior journalism major and photojournalism minor. She has experience in photography, multimedia, print, radio and visual journalism. She has worked with Kent State student media including The Kent Stater and KentWired. She is a disc jockey and the former web director for Black Squirrel Radio. She is currently the general manager of Black Squirrel Radio.
Cameron Gorman is a junior journalism major at Kent State. In student media, she has worked for the Kent Stater, The Burr and Transitions. She has also interned for WKYC, Cleveland Magazine and the Akron Beacon Journal.