HAGATNA, GUAM – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network applauds Guam’s Legislature for their unanimous vote in support for Bill 9-34 (the Youth Protection Act of 2017), which now awaits approval by Gov. Eddie Calvo. The legislation raises the age of sale for tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, from 18 to 21. Cathy Rivera Castro, ACS CAN Ambassador Constituent Team Lead, released the following statement:
“This legislation has come a long way since first being introduced in 2015, and Guam’s Legislature has heard from so many different voices in this debate. They have heard from retired military officers and those that have lost loved ones to lung cancer. They have heard from former smokers and smokers that are still addicted to tobacco products but want to make sure others can avoid a similar fate. And they have heard from the youth — the future of Guam.
“We believe today’s vote represents our Legislature’s commitment toward making a difference in the lives of our youth by helping to spare them a lifetime of addiction, as well as to further reduce the use of tobacco, and therefore tobacco-related disease and death, in Guam. Thank you to all of our partners and youth organizations for our years of advocacy, and thank you to our senators for making a decision that will save the lives of thousands of our people and prevent many more from having to deal with the financial burden of tobacco addiction.
“Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of cancer in Guam. While smoking rates have dropped over the last few years, Guam’s smoking rate of 27.4 percent is significantly higher than the national average of 17.5 percent.”
The following can be attributed to Cory Chun, Hawaii-Pacific director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network:
“Today, Guam’s Legislature passed Bill 9-34 in a strong display of bi-partisan support. ACS CAN applauds Guam’s senators and urges the Calvo administration to sign into law this legislation that would greatly reduce tobacco initiation and use among youth and young adults.”