On Monday night, the Worthington City Council made the central Ohio city the latest to join the Tobacco 21 movement, unanimously approving a law that will make 21 the new minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco alternative products and tobacco related paraphernalia.
The increase will go into effect on July 1, but a provision in the ordinance states that fines will not be imposed on retailers who sell to persons under 21-year-old until Oct. 1. Once that date passes, retailers will face a fine of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offenses within two years of the initial violation.
In addition to the age increase, the city is now requiring tobacco retailers to obtain a new license in order to continue selling tobacco products. The license fee is $150, and it must be renewed annually.
Worthington is located 13 miles north of Columbus and 135 miles southwest of Cleveland, and is home to approximately 14,000 residents.