Oregon raises tobacco age to 21 on New Year’s Day

Soon you'll need to be 21 years old in order to buy tobacco products in Oregon. The age increase will take effect Jan 1.

The law will require anyone buying tobacco or vape products to be 21 years old or older. It also creates stiff penalties for vendors who sell to minors.

Fines for store clerks and managers start at $50 and $250, but can reach $500 and $1,000 after multiple offenses.

The move is thought to be a major victory for health advocates and a big blow to Big Tobacco.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, tobacco-related diseases are the number one cause of preventable death in Oregon. Saying tobacco causes more than 7,000 deaths a year in the state.

In the New Year, Oregon is joining a handful of other states (California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey) that have increased the tobacco age limit.