Columbus City Council increased the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21-year-old on Monday night. City leaders hope the new measure will lead to a healthier population.
City Council reports that the new law, which limit the purchase of tobacco products to anyone 21 and over, will lead to a decrease in the number of new smokers. The new law will take effect in the fall of 2017, and people under 30 would be required to show ID before purchasing tobacco products.
According to the CDC, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and Ohio has one of the highest rates of smoking in the county - of 44 states, Ohio ranked 37.
City officials say broader implications for less nicotine consumption include a healthier and more marketable workforce and a lower infant mortality rate, as women who smoke are more likely to give birth prematurely.
Ohio also struggles with one of the highest infant mortality rates in the county, reports the Ohio Department of Health
Columbus joins 200 other U.S. cities, and three states that have already raised the age to purchase tobacco products.