HARTFORD - The Connecticut Senate marked today, World No Tobacco Day, by voting in support of HB7200. This bill would increase the statewide age of sale for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The House of Representatives approved the legislation earlier this month and it now heads to Gov. Ned Lamont for signature.
Bryte Johnson, Connecticut director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released the following statement:
“Kids and tobacco just don’t mix. Research shows that if a person does not begin smoking at a young age, they are much less likely to ever smoke. In fact, 95 percent of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21 and nearly all of them started by age 26.
“ACS CAN applauds Senate lawmakers for voting overwhelmingly in favor of this potentially lifesaving measure – it brings us one step closer to a long awaited and hard-earned public health victory for future generations of Connecticut residents. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide, and one-third of all cancer deaths are related to tobacco use. Raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21 sets us on the path to a healthier future for youth across the state, and World No Tobacco Day is a perfect opportunity to move this legislation forward.
“Sadly, this year alone, around 1,100 Connecticut kids will become new daily smokers. Raising the age of sale for tobacco products is a step toward saving lives, and restricting youth and young adult access to tobacco products can be a critical component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce initiation and lifelong tobacco addiction.
“ACS CAN applauds members of the House and Senate for supporting this legislation. We are encouraged by Governor Lamont’s expressions of support and urge him to sign this bill into law when it reaches his desk.”
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.