TOLEDO, OH (AP) - An effort to increase the legal age to possess, purchase, and sell tobacco was the topic of discussion during Thursday's city council meeting. The focus was raising the legal age of tobacco use from 18 to 21.
Tobacco 21 leaders said there are 480,000 deaths per year from tobacco. That's more than alcohol, car crashes, and suicides combined.
Those leaders also said they want this to start at the city level before taking the issue to the state, which they plan on doing.
Cleveland and Columbus are two cities in Ohio which have already passed the Tobacco 21 ordinance. There are also five states which have passed including Oregon, California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Maine.
Councilwoman Yvonne Harper said they wanted to allow the public their chance to educate themselves and share their thoughts
"We need to let the people who have put on this tobacco 21, they need to present it to our committee and again if need be we need to get it out into the public. It's important that the public hears," she said.
Councilwoman Harper also said there isn't a date set for the next meeting, but they are hoping for late December.