Coos County officials say 12% of HS juniors smoke cigarettes, 21% use tobacco

(KCBY image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- As of last week, you can't legally buy tobacco in Oregon until you're 21.

Governor Kate Brown signed the bill increasing the age from 18 to 21.

In Coos County, health officials say 12 percent of high school juniors are smoking cigarettes and 21 percent are using non-cigarette tobacco.

"We know that most addiction to tobacco products starts during adolescence, so signing this bill is a huge step in reducing youth access to tobacco," said Katrinka McReynolds with Coos Health and Wellness.

The bill makes Oregon the fifth state to increase the legal age to buy tobacco.

The new law went into effect immediately, with enforcement to begin in January of next year.

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