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Oregon Raises Tobacco Age to 21
11 August 2017, 11:23 | Rodolfo Wallace
Oregon bans tobacco sales to under 21s, matching rules on marijuana
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill that raises the legal smoking age to 21 in the state.
In addition, the measure "Modifies statutory definition of cigarettes to include inhalant devices and products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration", and "Expands the types of facilities not permitted to allow a person under 21 years of age to possess tobacco or inhalant delivery systems when on facility grounds to include colleges, community colleges, universities, career schools and technical education schools".
The current age limit in the state is 18.
JUUL Labs, which sells vaporizers, has raised the minimum age to buy its products online to 21. The new regulations also ban a 21-year-old from possessing tobacco or nicotine when on a postsecondary education campus, effective January 1.
About 1,800 OR kids become smokers every year and an alarming 24 percent of Oregon's 11th graders report using tobacco products.
This marks the latest victory for health advocates as tobacco use steadily declines.
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About 95 percent of lifelong cigarette smokers begin the habit before turning 21, according to both the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Cancer Society.
The state joins neighboring California as well as Hawaii, New Jersey and ME on the list of those that have recently raised their smoking age to 21, part of a nationwide movement to reduce tobacco use among younger Americans. Hawaii adopted an age 21 threshold in 2015, followed by California past year.
The higher age already applies in California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey. More than 200 cities and counties, including New York City and Boston, have similar laws.
The bill cleared the state Senate and House in March and July, respectively, and Ms.
Advocates argue that raising the age to buy tobacco will help reduce smoking.
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