Oregon Raises Smoking Age to 21

Oregon Raises Smoking Age to 21

Oregon Raises Smoking Age to 21

OR became the fifth state to raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21.

New Jersey's measure goes into effect in November and Maine's new legal age takes hold on July 1, 2018.

It's now the fifth state to raise the age limit joining Hawaii, California, Maine, and New Jersey.

"If we can avoid addiction setting in at this younger age, we are less likely to see people start to become addicted to a substance that can have lifelong ill-effects on health", Angie Gerard, director of Malheur County Health Department, told the Argus Observer.

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"We are programmed as adolescents to try new things, which is a ideal recipe for risky things", he said.

OR was slated to become the third state to increase its tobacco age to 21, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed age-increasing legislation July 21 and ME lawmakers overrode a veto of such legislation by Gov. Paul LePage on August 2. One study published in the journal Tobacco Control found that after the Boston suburb of Needham raised its sales age to 21, teen smoking was cut in half.

In addition, the measure "Modifies statutory definition of cigarettes to include inhalant devices and products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration", and "Expands the types of facilities not permitted to allow a person under 21 years of age to possess tobacco or inhalant delivery systems when on facility grounds to include colleges, community colleges, universities, career schools and technical education schools". Researchers estimated that if the tobacco sales age was raised to 21 nationwide, it would lead to a 12% decrease in adult smoking by the time today's teens have grown up.

JUUL Labs, which sells vaporizers, has raised the minimum age to buy its products online to 21.

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