The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation released the following statement after the Legislature voted Friday to put sweeping changes to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust on the November ballot.
ACS CAN Applauds Bipartisan Support of Tobacco Age Increase
Maine House & Senate Support Increase in Age for the Sale of Tobacco Products to 21
AUGUSTA - The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds the Maine legislature for their overwhelming bipartisan support of LD1170. The legislation raises the age of sale for tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, from 18 to 21. The bill now heads to Governor LePage for signature.
The following statement can be attributed to Hilary Schneider, director of government relations for ACS CAN in Maine:
“I want to thank Maine lawmakers for their strong, bi-partisan support of increasing the age of sale of tobacco to 21. High school is a prime time for youth to begin a tobacco addiction, but we know that if kids don’t pick up a cigarette during these vulnerable teenage years that most of them will never start smoking later. In fact, 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. The higher sales age also helps offset the tobacco industry’s attempts to target young people at a critical period when many people transition from experimenting with tobacco to become regular, daily smokers.
“We urge Governor LePage to protect the health of Maine’s youth by supporting an increase in the age of sale of tobacco to 21, and to sign LD 1170 into law.”
Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in Maine. If signed by Governor LePage, Maine will become just the third state – following Hawaii and California – to raise its tobacco sales age to 21. More than 225 counties and cities nationwide, including Portland, have passed this policy.
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.