Plugged In: Raising age to buy cigarettes to 21 could prevent addiction

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Researchers at Ohio State University say raising the age to buy cigarettes to 21 would prevent adolescents from ever taking up smoking.

The study focused on Ohio, but researchers found the results would be the same for any region that raises the minimum sales age.

The minimum age to buy tobacco in most of the country is 18.

“The key point is that if people get through adolescence without smoking, it is highly unlikely they will ever start,” said Micah Berman, assistant professor of public health and law at Ohio State. “The flip side of that is if they do start smoking in adolescence, everything we have learned about teen brain development shows that it will be much harder for them to quit later.”

Across the country, there are more than 50 municipalities that have raised the age to buy cigarettes to 21. Eight states are considering similar legislation.

Do you think the age to buy cigarettes should be raised to 21? Read more of the study here and then leave your comments on our Facebook post below.  Todd Meany might ready your comments during Plugged In from 6:30 – 9 a.m.