Healthy Cleveland Welcomes Tobacco Regulation Success

On December 7, 2015, the Cleveland City Council voted 13-3 in favor of Ordinance 737-15, which increases the sales and purchase age of tobacco products to 21. This action represents a huge step forward for the collective work of the Breathe Free Committee, which has been working tirelessly to improve the health outcomes of our citizens.

This latest success has been long-coming. In June 2015, a series of 4 public hearings were held to present the evidence and hear testimony from our health professionals, residents, research institutions, and concerned store owners. In total, we spent over 17 hours in public hearings to ensure that all questions and concerns related to this piece were addressed.

The Breathe Free Committee will also assist the administration and council in developing a public awareness campaign that can be utilized to inform and help transition store owners and residents to the new changes. We thank everyone who has been key to making this legislation pass and expect we will see improved health outcomes for our youth and future adults as a result.

On the same evening, Cleveland City Council also voted 14-4 to pass Resolution 669-15, which will establish a working committee to review the feasibility of moving to a smoke-free hiring policy for the City of Cleveland. The amended version of this legislation identifies the institutions and stakeholders who will comprise this working group.

The Breathe Free Committee will assist in identifying individuals to serve on this committee, as well as conduct research as it relates to similar policies established in other cities. Committee members will be looking at the costs versus benefits of this policy.