City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

Young Adult Tobacco Sales

On June 8, 2015, Upper Arlington City Council passed Ordinance No. 35-2015. This new law, which is effective Tuesday, July 7, 2015,  prohibits the distribution or sale of cigarettes, tobacco products (any product that is made from tobacco, including, but not limited to, a cigarette, a cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff), e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to individuals under the age of 21.

For Residents

This new ordinance raises the age limit for the sale of tobacco from 18 to 21 for businesses within Upper Arlington. To clarify, possession and use of tobacco by individuals over the age of 18 remains legal. Additionally, businesses may still sell or distribute tobacco cessation products to those under the age of 21 as long as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the product as a tobacco cessation aid.

Tobacco Facts*:

  • In 2013, more than one in five Ohio high school students – and more than one in four juniors and seniors, reported using some form of tobacco during the past 30 days.

  • If current trends continue, 259,000 Ohio youth alive today will die from tobacco use.

  • Nearly all adult smokers began smoking by the age of 18 – almost no one starts smoking after 21.

  • Of those who begin smoking as youth, 80% will smoke into adulthood, and one-half of adult smokers will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases.

  • Beginning smoking at a young age increases the risk of long-term addiction to tobacco and to other drugs and makes quitting more difficult.

  • In Franklin County, 22% of women age 18-21 smoke during pregnancy, which is twice the rate of smoking during pregnancy for those over 21. Smoking during pregnancy causes premature birth, birth defects, and other risk factors for infant death.

  • Currently, 90% of those who supply cigarettes to minors are themselves under the age of 21. Raising the minimum sales age to 21 puts legal purchasers outside the social circle of most high school students.

  • Sales to those under 21 accounts for only 2% of total cigarette sales, so the economic impact would be minimal.

  • Increasing the travel distance required to obtain tobacco has been shown to decrease use, especially for youth with limited transportation options.

  • The American Lung Association estimates that each pack of cigarettes consumed costs our society $18.05 in increased health care and work-related expenditures.

  • An employee who smokes costs his or her employer more than $5,800 per year compared to a non-smoker.

*Source: "Running the Numbers."

For Businesses

Business Information Sheet

This ordinance, effective Tuesday, July 7, 2015, applies to any business or retailer operating within Upper Arlington that sells cigarettes, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and/or liquid nicotine. Before distributing or selling any tobacco product, the person distributing or selling the product must verify the individual is 21 years of age or older by examining a government issued photographic I.D. for any person that appears to be under 30 years of age.

Both the individual selling/distributing tobacco products as well as his/her employer will be held accountable for distributing, selling or permitting the sale of tobacco products to young adults under the age of 21.

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