First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home Solutions Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths Support Tobacco21

Support Tobacco 21

First Year Cleveland priorities include decreasing extreme prematurity and eliminating sleep-related deaths. That's why we support Tobacco 21.

Tobacco is deadly. According to numbers from national health institutions, tobacco is responsible for one in five deaths in the US. Smoking during pregnancy is also a leading cause for infant deaths, putting babies at high risk for prematurity and sleep-related deaths.

Tobacco 21 is an effort to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco and smoking-related products to 21.

Raising the smoking age is driven by research showing that people are less likely to become addicted to nicotine if they haven’t started smoking by the time they’ve turned 21.

Lower smoking rates lead to better health outcomes, especially for pregnant women and infants. This is why we support state-wide legislation to raise the minimum age to 21. Currently, 23 cities in Ohio, including Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Brooklyn, Lakewood and University Heights, prohibit the sale of tobacco products to persons under age 21,

Today, 28 percent of the nation’s population is covered by the Tobacco 21 policy. By increasing the minimum age to buy tobacco products, several of these cities and states are realizing significantly lower smoking rates as compared to states with lower age restrictions.

According to Terry Allan, MPH, health commissioner for the Cuyahoga Board of Health and chair of FYC Action Team 11, enforcement is essential to compliance with the laws. Over a three-year period compliance checks resulted in reduced sales to youths — from 21 percent to eight percent. However, recently, in support of the ordinance, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health conducted underage tobacco purchases throughout the City of Euclid to assess compliance. Here's what they found. 

While we are seeing some progress at the local level, there is still more to be done. We will continue to push for stricter laws at the municipal and state levels as part of our work at First Year Cleveland.


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