Oregon Raises Smoking Age to 21 | NACS Online – Media – News Archive
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Oregon Raises Smoking Age to 21

The state becomes the fifth one to have a higher tobacco buying age.
August 11, 2017

​SALEM, Ore. – This week, Oregon becomes the fifth state to designate 21 as the legal age to purchase tobacco products, the Independent reports. Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill, which applies to traditional tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes.

“I want to make sure that we continue to reduce the number of young people starting to smoke, but it’s also critical that we reduce the number of people smoking,” Brown said.

The new law will focus on tobacco retailers who sell to minors rather than the buyers themselves, The Oregonian reports. Fines for cashiers and managers who allow anyone under 21 to buy tobacco products start at $50 and $250, respectively, but can jump to $500 and $1,000 for multiple instances.

Overall, smoking rates have been falling in the United States, with adult smoking rates dropping from 21% in 2005 to 15% in 2015.

Other states considering upping the age restriction to 21 for tobacco products this year include Michigan, Washington, Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Connecticut, Vermont and Florida. Currently, only California, New Jersey and Hawaii have statewide restrictions on being 21 to buy tobacco, although around 200 other localities have also raised the minimum tobacco purchase age above 18. For more, read “Must Be 21 to Buy” in NACS Magazine.