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.
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.