Oregon becomes 5th state to raise tobacco age to 21
SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is the fifth state to raise its legal age required to purchase tobacco products to 21. Gov. Kate Browned signed the senate bill Wednesday.
SB 754 passed the Oregon Senate on March 23. Then, it passed in the House by a 39 to 20 vote July 6.
The law applies to cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco products.
Oregon joins Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Maine as states now requiring the legal tobacco age to be 21.
In May, Brown applauded Lane County’s decision to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old. At the time, she said she hoped the state would follow the county’s lead.
"I want to make sure that we continue to reduce the number of young people starting to smoke, but it's also critical that we reduce the number of people smoking," said Brown during a visit to Cottage Grove in May.
She said her father struggled to quit smoking for a long time. He had quadruple bypass surgery when he was 50 and died of a heart attack 20 years later, she said.
The new age requirement will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.