Ohio’s new Tobacco 21 law went into effect yesterday, raising the age to buy tobacco products, including vaping products, to 21. The law, which went into effect due to the dangers of vaping, will affect students who vape
School resource officer, Officer Tiffany Osburn, confirmed that the legal age of smoking and purchasing is 21 as of Oct. 17 and said if you’re 18 now you won’t be grandfathered in.
Officer Osburn also said that there will be a change in Juul pod sales. Other than tobacco, all flavors will be removed from stores. However, it is not yet confirmed when this will happen.
When asked how she felt knowing students, Officer Osburn said, “I hate it, knowing all this new information. All I can do is warn and inform the students.” She said some known dangers include lung blockage, seizures, cancer, lung collapsation, and popcorn lung which, according to the CDC, is when your lungs‘ smallest airways “become scarred and constricted, blocking the movement of air.”
As of October 8, there have been 1,229 cases of lung injury associated with vaping and at least 26 deaths, according to the CDC.
According to Officer Osburn, one of every three students is caught with a vape on school grounds.
Officer Osburn also said the administration is planning on getting vapor detectors for the bathrooms.
One WCHS junior said he is an active vape user and they started vaping in 2015. He did say he’s addicted to nicotine. When asked why he started vaping he said it was because he wanted to quit smoking cigarettes. He doesn’t regret that he started vaping, but does regret smoking cigarettes. He said, “Nobody needs to vape or smoke. It’s not good for you.” He agrees that the smoking age should be raised to 21. “Our brains are still developing. They’re still technically developing when we’re 21.”
According to Mental Health Daily’s website, “Brain development is subject to significant individual variation, most experts suggest that the brain is fully developed by age 25.”
He wanted to advise other WCHS students not to vape because it’s not good for you.