Tobacco 21

What Is Tobacco 21?

Tobacco 21 is a national campaign taking a local approach to raising the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 years of age.  Currently, over 290 cities and five states have already raised the age to 21.  


Read the code regarding tobacco products and sales

See the 2018 Environmental Health Code Fees


Please note that all tobacco retailers in the City of Akron will receive a letter with more information on the week of May 21st, 2018.

The ordinance will officially go into effect on October 1st, 2018.

Why Raise the Age?


  • In Summit County, 1 in 7 kids (13.5%) in 9th - 12th grade has used 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.


  • Just 2% of tobacco sales (under 21) produce 90% of new smokers.
  • People who have not used tobacco by age 21 are unlikely to ever start.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 5 states and more than 290 U.S. cities have already raised the age to 21.

T21 NEWS Akron City Council votes to raise the legal age to buy tobacco to 21

Akron Beacon Journal/ Council passes resolution raising age for sale of tobacco products in Akron to 21

Akron Beacon Journal/ editorial board: Tobacco 21 belongs in Akron Akron City Council hears health experts as it mulls raising the legal age to buy tobacco to 21

Fox 8 Cleveland: Tobacco 21 proposal in Akron: Should age for buying tobacco products be raised?

Cleveland 19 News: City of Akron proposes to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Akron Beacon Journal/ Akron looks to increase legal age to buy tobacco products to 21

WKYC: Akron City Council to discuss proposal to raise age to buy tobacco to 21

City of Akron Introduces Legislation to Raise the Age for Tobacco Sales to 21


Tobacco Use Data Brief: The City of Akron 

Tobacco Use Data Brief: Summit County

T21 Sample Ordinance Template
T21 Fact Sheets
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, Director of Population Health
Summit County Public Health