Lakewood, Ohio Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

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The Tobacco 21 movement notched its second win in Ohio this week, as the Lakewood City Council approved an ordinance that will soon make the new minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes 21-years-old.

Additionally, the ordinance requires that retailers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco alternative products must now be licensed by March 31 in order to stay in business, obtaining a $300 license similar to that of traditional tobacco retailers.

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While retailers will get a warning for a first violation of selling to an underage person, the fines start at $250 for a repeat offense within five years of the first, escalating to $500 for another offense and $1000 for a third within five years of the initial warning. Subsequent violations would trigger an administrative review and the possible suspension or revocation of a retailer’s tobacco license.

The draft of the ordinance posted on the city’s website had an effective date of March 1, 2019, though the city has not yet clarified an updated date of effect for the increase.

Lakewood’s vote came on the same day that University Heights passed its own increase.

Lakewood is located just west of Cleveland and has a population around 50,000 residents.

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I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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