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Health

City of Cleveland - Tobacco Laws

Tobacco 21

Please call (216) 664-2000 with any questions/complaints around Tobacco 21.

No one can give, sell, or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21 years old.

Effective Thursday, April 14, 2016, the minimum sales age for tobacco products will be twenty-one. The Tobacco 21 law (Ordinance Number 737-15) was passed in December of 2015 and it states that no one can give, sell or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or papers used to roll cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21.

As part of compliance, all tobacco product retailers are required to post a sign (Click Here) informing customers of the minimum sales age for these items in a place thatís highly visible. If a customer looks like they may be under 30 years old, the retailer must ask for proof of age. Acceptable documents to show proof of age are a valid photo driverís license or non-driver ID card issued by a state or other U.S. or Canadian government agency; a valid passport; or a photo ID issued by the armed forces of the United States.

Raising the minimum age to buy and sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to twenty-one would save lives by preventing adolescents and young adults from ever taking up smoking, according to a recent report by the Ohio State University College of Public Health. Locally, data from the most recent Cuyahoga County Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2013 indicates over 22% of high school students in Cuyahoga County use tobacco products; within the City of Cleveland, rates range between 23.1% on the west side and 25.1% on the east side. Nearly all adult smokers began smoking by the age of eighteen and almost no one starts smoking after twenty-one. Of those who begin smoking as youths, 80% will smoke into adulthood because of the powerful effects of nicotine, and one half of adult smokers will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases.

Tobacco 21 Law to Take Effect on April 14, 2016 (Click Here for press release)

Click Here, for answers to FAQs regarding Tobacco 21.

Click Here, to see letter mailed to retailers.