Raising the Age of Sale for Nicotine Products to 21.
Tobacco remains the No.1 preventable cause of cancer in Guam. Even given the decline in smoking rates in recent years, Guam’s smoking rate of 26.5 percent is significantly higher than the national average of 17.8 percent and remains No. 1.in the nation. Raising the age that Guamanians can legally purchase tobacco products will have a profound effect on cutting down usage. In the 33rd Guam Legislature, Bill 141-33 (The Youth Protection Act) was introduced to raise the age that one can legally purchase nicotine products to 21 in Guam.
This legislation will also be effective at curbing the rates at which Guam youth are introduced to nicotine products. According to the Institute of Medicine, “The age group most impacted [by Tobacco 21 legislation] will be those age 15 to 17 years…[and] that among adults who become daily smokers, approximately 90 percent report first use of cigarettes before reaching 19 years of age.”
ACS CAN Hawaii-Pacific will continue to support the coalition of health insurers, youth and other parties as Guam continues to work toward passage of this legislatino.