University responds to statewide Tobacco 21 law


Effective Oct. 1, 18-year-olds will no longer be able to purchase tobacco products in the state of Ohio.  

According to Convenience Store News, Governor Mike DeWine signed a budget bill July 18 that included a measure to increase the legal tobaccopurchasing age from 18 to 21.

The governor vetoed a provision that would have grandfathered in anyone who turned 18 before Oct. 1, Convenience Store News reported.  

“(The new law) doesn’t affect students here on campus, directly, since we do not sell tobacco products on campus, so there’s no impact there,” said David Schmiesing, vice president of Student Life. “Obviously, though, for students who are under 21, they will not be able to purchase themselves off-campus tobacco products.” 

Tobacco laws are being reexamined across the country: Convenience Store News reported that over 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in a city or state that has raised the legal tobacco purchasing age to 21. Notably, though, the “Tobacco 21” laws differ from laws about alcohol. 

“The alcohol legislation prohibits the purchase but  also the possession, the consumption of alcohol underage, except with parents. This law only governs the sale of the tobacco products,” explained Schmiesing. 

The university is not currently looking into changing its tobacco policy since the new law does not mandate any change in tobacco usage, only purchase. However, Schmiesing encouraged university members to be aware of the current tobacco policy, which can be found in the university handbook.  

“Be aware of the policy that smoking is prohibited in every building. It’s also prohibited on our athletic fields, you know, for competitions. The expectation is that smoking would take place 30 feet away from entrances. So, just to be aware of the expectation and to abide by it,” said Schmiesing. 

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