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Grandview Heights Raises Legal Tobacco Age To 21

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Grandview Councilman Chris Smith says the ordinance he sponsored was meant to "discourage gateway behavior."

Grandivew Heights is banning sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products to people under 21 and making it a low-level misdemeanor crime for them to use such products.

The city council approved the ordinance Monday. It goes beyond tobacco sales restrictions recently passed in nearby Upper Arlington and Bexley because it allows for penalizing underage smokers.

Grandview Councilman Chris Smith says the ordinance he sponsored was meant to "discourage gateway behavior." Smith says prosecutors will have discretion in citing sellers or underage users, who wouldn't be charged if they're with a parent or a spouse over 21.

Former criminal-defense lawyer Ed Hastie was the only council member to vote against the measure. He calls it "an individual-liberty thing."