The Columbus City Council wasted no time in approving an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco, though it won’t go into effect for over 10 months.
On Monday, the council gave its second approval to a proposal from the city’s board of health to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old. The board approved the idea in mid-November, but needed council’s approval before it could become law.
As part of the new law, retailers will be required to ask for identification from anyone wanting to purchase tobacco that appears to be under 30-years old, and will also be required to purchase a $150 license on an annual basis to fund compliance checks. If they are caught selling tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, they could face a $500 fine for a first offense and a $1,000 penalty for repeat violations.
The increase is slated to go into effect on October 1, 2017, according to a report from WSYX-TV.
Columbus is the capital of Ohio and has an estimated population of 850,000, making it both the most populous city in the state and the 15th largest city in the country. It is also home to The Ohio State University.