A proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old in Ohio will be on the table this week as legislators scramble to approve a budget and get it to the desk of Gov. Mike DeWine, who must sign it by June 30.
The proposal comes from DeWine himself and has managed to stick in the proposal through numerous hearings, debates, amendments and revisions. It would allow those who are least 18 by October 1 to continue purchasing tobacco products and e-cigarettes, while anyone not 18 would have to wait until they are 21 years old.
The item, HB 166, has been heard in both chambers but amendments remain the sticking point, and the Senate has asked for a committee of conference, meaning that members of both chambers will gather this week in an attempt to resolve their differences and finalize a bill that both chambers can support.
Assuming the increase remains in the budget and it passes, Ohio will join more than a dozen states that have raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old.