In 2022, Kent City Council passed an ordinance now requiring businesses to be licensed to sell tobacco products:
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In 2018, Kent City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the selling of tobacco products or alternative nicotine products to those under 21 years of age. The purpose of this policy is to restrict the 18-20-year-old group of individuals from buying tobacco products for those under the age of 18. This closes the gap and assures that those under the age of 18 are less likely to be exposed to the dangerous and harmful addictive nature that nicotine possesses.
Businesses that sell tobacco products in the city of Kent must post appropriate signage that state the age limit and the Ohio Tobacco Quitline. You may download the signage here. Each year, the health department publishes data related to facilities passing or failing inspections for Tobacco 21 in the Annual Report, which can be found here.
The Kent City Health Department has a grant from the Ohio Department of Health for tobacco control and prevention and conducts the enforcement of the Tobacco 21 policy. To read the full ordinance, click here.
Youth tobacco use continues to be a troubling trend, and policies like Tobacco 21 are meant to curb that. Policy work, enforcement of laws, and health education programs will be the pathway to ensuring young people do not take up tobacco or nicotine products.