Tobacco 21 in Lane County

On March 14, 2017, the Lane County commissioners, acting as both the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Health, approved an ordinance raising the legal age to purchase or possess tobacco products to 21.

This ordinance (17-01) went into into effect on April 13, 2017.

View the full text of Lane Code Chapter 9, Section 7, Tobacco Regulations, including the revisions due to ordinance 17-01. 

General FAQs

Why is raising the minimum sale age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 important?

  • Adolescence is a period of high susceptibility to nicotine addiction. The younger people are when they start smoking, the more likely they are to become strongly addicted and to become lifelong smokers. 
  • Eighty to ninety percent of long term smokers start during adolescence before the age of 18. Ninety-nine percent start before the age of 26.
  • Before this ordinance, older Teen Smokers, over 18 or appearing to be over 18, can buy their own cigarettes and are a major and sometimes the prime social source of supply to smokers too young to buy their own.
  • Raising the legal age to buy tobacco to 21 will cut the distribution pathways from 18- to 21- year-olds to younger teens.
  • The Institute of medicine estimates that the biggest impact will be to reduce smoking initiation among 15- to 17-year-olds by 25 per cent.

Has this kind of law been implemented elsewhere?

Yes. Currently over 220 jurisdictions in the US, in 16 states, including Hawaii and California, have passed minimum sales age of 21 ordinances.

What is the new minimum sales age for tobacco products and its effective date?

This ordinance bans sales of all tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. It will become effective on April 13, 2017.

Where in Lane County is the new ordinance applicable?

All retail outlets which sell tobacco and tobacco products, including both inside city limits and unincorporated Lane County.

What about people who are currently over 18 and able to buy? Is there some sort of grandfathering for them?

No. This ordinance applies equally to all youth.

If I am in the military, does this new ordinance still apply to me?

Yes. Raising the purchase age to 21 will help the military’s campaign to eliminate tobacco use in the military and contribute to increased military readiness.

Are there consequences for tobacco possession for those under age 21?

If in plain sight, tobacco products in the possession of anyone under age 21 may be confiscated by a peace officer. The code does not include penalties for possession.

Get Help to Quit Tobacco

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.quitnow.net/oregon/ to get started.

TTY: 1-877-777-6534

Quit Tobacco Resources-Lane County
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Dejar el tabaco

Llame al 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335356-92) o visite www.quitnow.net/oregonsp/ para más información.