Tobacco 21

What Is Tobacco 21?

Tobacco 21 is a national campaign to raise the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 years of age.  Currently, over 475 cities and 18 states including Ohio have already raised the age to 21.  




Read the code regarding tobacco products and sales

See the 2019 Environmental Health Code Fees

Ohio Becomes 18th State to Pass Tobacco 21!

On July 18, 2019 Governor Mike DeWine Signed House Bill 166 (Ohio Budget Bill) which included raising the legal age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 21 statewide. The new law will take effect on October 17, 2019. More information can be found on the Ohio Department of Health website here.

As of July 2019, Summit County has 16 existing Tobacco 21 Communities. The new state law does not supersede our existing local Tobacco 21 ordinances. Local code and enforcement is still in effect with no changes for the following communities: All Summit County Townships, City of Akron, City of Green, City of Norton, City of Tallmadge, City of Twinsburg, Village of Mogadore, and Village of Richfield.

Notice to tobacco retailers (click here)

Why Raise the Age?


  • In Summit County, 1 in 4 kids (25%) in 9th - 12th grade has used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.
  • 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 brain is still developing during the late teens and early 20s, and the probability of nicotine addiction is especially high during this time.


  • 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
    • 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 U.S. would save society an estimated $212 billion over a 50-year period.


  • 75% of adults support raising the age to 21, including 70% of smokers.
  • 18 states and more than 475 U.S. cities have already raised the age to 21.

T21 NEWS Ohio raises legal smoking age to 21

MyTownNeo: Vaping on the rise in youths nationally and locally

WKSU: Summit County Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 Tallmadge considers raising age to buy tobacco products

New5Cleveland: Study reveals vaping concern among middle, high school students Stow City Council rejects tighter tobacco controls despite community’s support Summit County Sees Signs of a Teen Vaping Epidemic Akron City Council votes to raise the legal age to buy tobacco to 21


Summit County Youth Smoking Statistics

Tobacco Use Data Brief: The City of Akron 

Tobacco Use Data Brief: Summit County

T21 and the Military
OSU T21 Whitepaper
Local Quit Smoking Resources


Akron Children's Hospital
Joint letter from ACS/AHA/ALA/CTFK
Cleveland Clinic Akron General

For more information about Tobacco 21, contact:

Cory Kendrick, Policy and Legislative Affairs Manager
Summit County Public Health