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Summit County Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

A bystander holds a cigarette in their hand.
A bystander holds a cigarette in their hand.

A public health advocate is pleased Summit County has now banned businesses from selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 21 years old. The legislation, known as Tobacco 21, lessens the chance for teens to get their hands on popular e-cigarettes, Juuls and other paraphernalia.

The director of population health at Summit County Public Health Cory Kendrick said the use of these products among middle and high school students has resulted in the highest rates of  teen tobacco use in years.

“By 12th grade, 37.7% of high school kids are currently using e-cigarettes, and 57.2% have tried an e-cigarette by their senior year in high school.”

The legislation takes effect in July. It covers the nine townships in the county. Several cities including Akron, Green, Twinsburg, Norton and Mogadore have already adopted similar legislation, but Stow, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton rejected it.

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Erin Keller is a senior broadcast journalism major and fashion media minor at . She is involved in as a host of The Blurband co-hosts the Show, Womb-Mates, with her identical twin sister, Holly. In addition to interning at WKSU, Erin also has a public relations internship at a local school district.