HAGATNA, Guam – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds Gov. Eddie Calvo for allowing Bill 9-34 (the Youth Protection Act of 2017) to become law today. The legislation raises the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21 and classifies electronic smoking devices and components as tobacco products. Cathy Rivera Castro, ACS CAN Ambassador Constituent Team (ACT!) Lead, released the following statement:
“I want to thank Gov. Calvo for allowing Bill 9-34 to become law. This legislation has come a long way since its first iteration was introduced in 2015, and we believe it will make a difference in the lives of our youth by helping to spare them a lifetime of addiction from tobacco use, and therefore tobacco-related disease and death. Thank you to all of our partners and youth organizations for helping this bill become a reality.”
Tobacco remains the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer in Guam. While smoking rates have dropped in the last few years, Guam’s smoking rate of 27.4 percent remains significantly higher than the national average of 17.5 percent. Guam’s youth smoking rate is 17.6 percent, and the national average is at 10.8 percent. One in three of Guam’s high school students, and one in four middle school students, uses electronic cigarettes.
ACS CAN supports the effectiveness of tobacco control strategies in reducing tobacco initiation and use among youth and young adults.