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Local doctor tests Tobacco 21 enforcement; says 9 stores sold to underage teen

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio
A local doctor took research into his own hands when asking the Franklin County Board of Health to enforce city ordinance Tobacco 21.

“I don’t like surprising people like this, but I had to get their attention,” said Dr. Rob Crane, a family medicine physician for Ohio State. “I came to the same board meeting and made a presentation, down on one knee begging for their help and they ignored me.”

Tobacco 21 makes the legal age to purchase tobacco products 21 years of age in Bexley, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Grandview and Dublin.

Crane says he’s spent the last 16 months asking the Department to run youth-based stings as a way to see if retailers are following the law.

“They don’t want to be involved in stings. I’ve told them, this is not James Bond,” he said.
So, Crane worked with Christal Welch, a 19-year-old college student to see how many stores would sell to her.

Of the 18 stores they went to in the central Ohio area, nine sold to her overlooking her age or not checking ID.

“I was shocked,” Welch said. “Half the time they would ask ‘are you old enough?’, and I would say yes, but they didn’t ask for my ID. Other times, they would look at my ID that says I’ll be 21 in 2019, and they still sold it to me.”

Tuesday, Welch and Dr. Crane presented their findings to the Franklin County Board of Health.

Survey Finds E-Cigarettes are Problem in Ridgefield

Even before they surveyed hundreds of residents on the issue, high-schoolers Mitchell van der Noll and Aiden Williams knew e-cigarettes was a growing problem among teenagers in town.

The high school seniors, who distributed the survey as interns with Town Hall this spring, said the number of students using the devices has “exploded” over the last year or two.

Students can be found smoking e-cigarettes in the high school bathrooms, in the parking lots, at parties outside of school and most recently, at the middle schools, they said. Most use the newest device, a Juul vape pen.

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” Williams said. “You can see anyone from any social group using them at kind of any time. If you go into the bathroom at the high school there’s probably a greater than 50 percent chance you would find someone (smoking).”

The survey, distributed on a community Facebook page, revealed that Ridgefielders are taking notice. More than 39 percent of the 240 people surveyed said e-cigarettes surpass alcohol, heroin, marijuana and cocaine as the “most relevant substance abuse problem in our community today.”

About 97 percent said they have heard of the “widespread usage amongst teenagers” and almost 91 percent that they knew about high schoolers vaping in bathrooms during school.

New Poll: New York Voters Overwhelmingly Support Increasing the Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21

A new poll released today finds that 72 percent of New York voters favor raising the minimum age for the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in New York state from age 18 to 21. Fewer than two-in-ten voters (18 percent) oppose increasing the sale age for tobacco products.

“The poll found that voters are concerned about tobacco use among young people and that New Yorkers across the political spectrum are broadly supportive of raising the age for sale of tobacco,” noted Jeffrey Plaut of Global Strategy Group, the firm conducting the survey.

Other poll findings include:

Support for increasing the tobacco age comes from a broad-based coalition of voters, including 69 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents.

Voters from across the state support increasing the tobacco age to 21, with support at 71 percent among New York City voters, 72 percent among suburban voters, and 73 percent among Upstate voters.

Eight out of ten voters (81 percent) are concerned about smoking and other tobacco use among young people under age 21 in New York.

The poll also found that voters still strongly support raising the tobacco sale age to 21 even when they hear arguments on both sides of the issue. After hearing common arguments on both sides, more than two-thirds (68 percent) favor the increased age and 23 percent oppose it.

The Tobacco 21 Movement and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use Among Youth

“Tobacco 21 laws that include ENDS should reduce initiation of these products among youth, similar to the suggested impact MLSA laws will have on initiation patterns for cigarettes.Reduced initiation of ENDS through MLSA laws may result in reduced initiation of cigarettes, and it may also result in delayed initiation of cigarette use, because the evidence for ENDS serving as a gateway to cigarette use is increasing. 4, 14 Regardless, it is plausible to predict that local, state, or federal MLSA laws would have a critical role in substantially reducing nicotine exposure among adolescents and young adults, particularly those aged 15 to 17 years.”

Hazardous chemicals discovered in flavored e-cigarette vapor

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“One puff of any of the flavored e-liquids that we tested exposes the smoker to unacceptably dangerous levels of these aldehydes, most of which originates from thermal decomposition of the flavoring compounds,” said Khylstov. “These results demonstrate the need for further, thorough investigations of the effects of flavoring additives on the formation of aldehydes and other toxic compounds in e-cigarette vapors.”