It’s a startling fact: 95% of all tobacco users start before the age of 21. In order to achieve the tobacco endgame, we need to address this statistic. While many solutions are needed, here are efforts already underway in Southwest Ohio. We know Big Tobacco will fight back, so we need everyone’s support for success.
Tobacco 21: One solution is to increase the sale age of tobacco products to 21. There are now more than 500 communities and 30 states (including Ohio in July 2019) who have taken some action. Here in our region, the City of Cincinnati has served as a leader when city council passed an ordinance in December 2018. With support from the Cincinnati Health Department, a tobacco retail license program will support education and strong implementation of the tobacco 21 ordinance.
What’s next? Other communities are encouraged to follow Cincinnati and pass a tobacco retail license ordinance to effective implement and enforce Ohio’s tobacco 21 law. Whether you are a decision maker, community member or student, resources are available to support efforts in your community.
Tobacco and Nicotine Flavors: Mango, mint and cucumber. Tobacco companies have been marketing flavors to youth and communities of color for years. And, now, the e-cigarette companies are following Big Tobacco’s playbook. These products are proven to appeal to kids and increase their likelihood of nicotine addiction. But, we can take a stand. By eliminating the sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine, including mint and menthol, we can take bold and necessary action to protect children from menthol cigarettes; fruit, mint and candy-flavored e-cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products that the tobacco industry uses to start kids on tobacco and addict them to nicotine.
We urge local communities to take action. We can build a groundswell here in Ohio to further protect our kids from the marketing of these products. Visit the Action Center to add your name in support!