Tobacco Use Age May Increase to 21 in Lane County

Mar 2, 2016

Soon smokers in Lane County may have to wait until age 21 to buy tobacco. County Commissioners backed a proposal Tuesday night to raise the legal age.

Credit Craig Daily Press

Commissioner Jay Bozievich says most regular tobacco users pick up the habit before age 21. That’s why he wants to increase the age of legal purchase from 18, and on Tuesday, the Board unanimously supported this idea.

Bozievich is a former smoker. He says he started smoking regularly at 15, and when he wanted to quit, it took him nearly a decade.

Bozievich: “It’s extremely difficult to break such an addiction that nicotine is, and I would hope we can prevent our youth from becoming addicted and having to go through that issue of having to stop an addictive behavior.”

Bozievich says the Board of County Commissioners is two to three months away from voting on an actual proposal.

The State of Hawaii and more than 120 counties and cities across the US have raised their tobacco possession and purchasing age to 21.