Community shares thoughts on new tobacco product policy

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Ohio is the 18th state to enact a Tobacco 21 law

Tobacco Age Policy change

(WKBN) – A recent change in Ohio requires you to be at least 21-years-old to buy tobacco products, and people in the Valley see positives and negatives to the new policy.

The law affects products such as cigarettes, rolling paper, vaping products and chewing tobacco. Several people that our team spoke to agreed with the new law.

“I think it’s a good law because [young adults] that are 18 sometimes get addicted to these things and they go on and it’s a whole lifetime of addiction,” said Philip Eurbank of Lordstown.

“Everybody already knows it’s a bad thing, but you know, to start later on in life, I think, might be easier for them to quit,” said Brandon Novak of New Castle.

“I don’t think your thoughts are as jumbled when you’re 21, so you’re not as quick to make decisions. You kind of think over things more,” said Giovanni Dibenditto of Poland.

There were also some people who saw another side to the policy change.

“I don’t like the fact that when you turn 18, you can go and fight and die for your country but you can’t have a beer and a cigar,” said Havana House president Tony Bellato.

“If you’re old enough to serve in the military and you’re old enough to do some other things, why wouldn’t you be old enough to smoke tobacco?” Eurbank said.

A number of people said if the law was in place when they were young, they may have never started smoking.

“I really didn’t care. Now I’m older, I know more. You know, I wouldn’t have ever started,” Novak said.

“Do as I say, not as I do. It’s bad. Smoking is no good for you,” said Paul Pancoe of Austintown.

Ohio is the 18th state to enact a Tobacco 21 law. In Pennsylvania, the age to buy tobacco is still 18.

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