COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio is raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The new law will take effect in October after Gov. Mike DeWine signed it this week.

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Ohio is one of 18 states that have raised the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products. The new law also applies to rolling papers, filters and other smoking and vaping accessories.

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National statistics show Ohio has one of the highest rates of adult smokers at just over 21%. Backers of the new law say the goal is to prevent children from starting to smoke.

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DeWine says smoking is a crisis for young people in Ohio and the U.S.

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