In an attempt to curb teen smoking in Grandview Heights, Ohio, United States, a local ordinance plans to raise the legal smoking age to 21.
Store clerks in Grandview Heights will no longer be able to sell cigarettes to anyone under age 21.
Grandview Heights City Council President Anthony Panzera said that this is a health and wellness issue.
"It is our obligation in local government to not ignore the health facts," said Panzera.
Panzera referred to a research that shows the longer people wait to take their first puffs, the less likely they are to continue the habit.
The new smoking ban includes all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. It is the first of its kind in central Ohio with penalties attached.
"This isn't something that encourages the police to go out and enforce something that we don't need a lot of enforcement on now," said Panzera.
Young adults under age 21 caught smoking for a second time could face an unclassified misdemeanor, which means the possibility of community service or mandatory anti tobacco classes.
Businesses caught selling a second time could face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
"Many central Ohio communities and municipalities are probably going to end up at 21. We don't want to be a haven and stay at 18 such that everyone comes here to buy their cigarettes," said Panzera.