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tobacco

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A national report ranks Ohio in the bottom half in the country for the health of women, infants and children.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is confirming three reports of severe pulmonary illness are likely caused by vaping and it is investigating 11 more suspected cases. That's up from six suspected cases the agency reported less than two weeks ago.

e-cigarette
Lindsay Fox / Pixabay

A new service launched by the Ohio Department of Health this month offers free, confidential help for people under 18 who are trying to stop using e-cigarettes and tobacco – something that the U.S. Surgeon General calls an “epidemic.”

graduating students
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With just over a week to go before the state’s two year budget must be signed into law, the Ohio Senate will vote on its version Thursday. The vote will occur after some last-minute changes to that spending plan, including new high school graduation requirements and moving Ohio's 2020 presidential primary election back one week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says one of his "highest priorities" is to take on the leading cause of preventable death in the United States: smoking.

McConnell has sponsored a bill, along with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, that would increase the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.

Updated at 3:04 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced he will introduce national legislation to raise the minimum age for people buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. Some anti-tobacco advocates worry that the plan could actually harm children by heading off other regulation efforts.

A public health advocate is pleased Summit County has now banned businesses from selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 21 years old. The legislation, known as Tobacco 21, lessens the chance for teens to get their hands on popular e-cigarettes, Juuls and other paraphernalia.

The director of population health at Summit County Public Health Cory Kendrick said the use of these products among middle and high school students has resulted in the highest rates of  teen tobacco use in years.

Lindsay Fox / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget would raise the tobacco buying age from 18 to 21 statewide. But the provision could also result in less state revenue.

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It’s been five years since The Ohio State University imposed a ban on all tobacco products and smoking anywhere on campus. 

Updated: Friday, 8:54 a.m.

Cincinnati Council voted Wednesday for an ordinance raising the age to buy tobacco in the city from 18 to 21.

e-cigarette
Lindsay Fox / Pixabay

Anti-tobacco groups are calling on lawmakers to raise the tax on products that have been left out of recent increases, such as e-cigarettes and chew. They’re reigniting this call as part of World No Tobacco Day.

The Casablanca Cafe and Hookah Bar in Columbus.
Nick Evans

In front of Casablanca Café and Hookah Bar, a worker carries out patio furniture and sets up a small sidewalk sign. Inside, the lighting is dim. Couches line the walls, and there are a couple of incense burners lazily smoking away.

Mark Urycki / ideastream

Akron’s minimum age to buy tobacco products will increase from 18 to 21. But opponents and even some supporters are expressing reservations.

Akron City Council is expected to vote tonight on whether to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to those under 21. Proponents hope the rest of the Summit County will follow Akron’s lead.  

Those pushing to increase the age from 18 to 21 include public health officials, pediatricians, the national group Tobacco21 and the head of the city’s effort to combat infant mortality. They note that 2 percent of tobacco sales are to people under age 21 -- but those sales end up producing 90 percent of new smokers.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it wants to sharply reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The idea is to help wean millions of smokers off their deadly habit and prevent millions more from becoming regular smokers in the first place.

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