Health Care

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.

Anyone caught selling tobacco or vape products to people under the age of 21 will face a fine of up to $50. The law, which will go into effect on January 1, will also include the purchasing of vape pens.

A 2015 Institute of Medicine report found that increasing the minimum legal age for smoking would help stop younger teens from starting because they would not be as likely to be in the same social networks as adults over the age of 21, so it would be harder for them to obtain tobacco.

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OR residents aged 21 and older have been able to buy marijuana for recreational use since 2015.

Advocates of the increase including the governor argue that raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 could significantly reduce the rate of addiction among Oregonians and subsequently lower their odds of suffering from related health repercussions.

About 95 percent of lifelong cigarette smokers begin the habit before turning 21, according to both the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Cancer Society.

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The statewide law would follow a similar law enacted in Lane County in March. OR is one of five states to boost the age to 21, joining California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey.

The higher age already applies in California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey. Margaret Carter, D-Portland, to lobby against the measure, according to a story by Willamette Week.

Those in favor of the law say raising the legal smoking age will help prevent teens from smoking.

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However, the Chief Medical Officer of Gorakhpur denied that lack of oxygen was the reason behind the deaths. The 23 deaths comprised of 14 in the neonatal ward, three in the AES ward and six in the general ward.

The House Rules Committee amended the bill Monday, July 3, to eliminate the potential for that problem and ensure individuals younger than 21 are not penalized for possessing tobacco.


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