HARTFORD – In advance of his inaugural budget address, Gov. Ned Lamont has expressed his support for raising the age of sale for all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. The following statement can be attributed to Bryte Johnson, Connecticut director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“For the third time in a row, we will have the opportunity in the 2019 legislative session to save countless lives in Connecticut by passing legislation that will increase the age of sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. Gov. Lamont’s expression of support of this measure is a huge step in the right direction.
“Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide and 95 percent of tobacco users start before age 21. If we don’t change current smoking rates, 56,000 Connecticut kids alive today will ultimately die prematurely from tobacco use.
“E-cigarettes in particular are an epidemic in Connecticut high schools, and usage has more than doubled in the past two years – one in five high school seniors currently use e-cigarettes. These teenage e-cigarette users are significantly more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes than their peers.
“The time is now to curb this trend. ACS CAN urges the House and Senate to work together to pass legislation that will raise the age of sale of all tobacco products to 21.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.