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.
Veto Override of Tobacco 21 Will Save Lives; Health Care Costs
ACS CAN Applauds Legislature’s Override of LePage Veto
AUGUSTA – Today, the Maine legislature took steps toward saving lives and protecting kids from a lifetime of addiction by overriding Governor LePage’s veto a measure raising the sales age for all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, to 21 (LD1170). The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds the Maine legislature for their overwhelming bipartisan support of this legislation.
The following statement can be attributed to Hilary Schneider, director of government relations for ACS CAN in Maine:
“ACS CAN thanks Maine lawmakers for their strong, bi-partisan support of increasing the age of sale of tobacco to 21. Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death and is directly attributable to a third of all cancer diagnoses. This is just one of the reasons why it is imperative that we work to keep tobacco out of the hands of Maine’s youth.
“We know Big Tobacco targets our youth – pouring $42.8 million in marketing to Mainers each year – and prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to youth and young adults can be a critical component to a comprehensive strategy to reduce initiation and lifelong addiction.”
Passage of LD 1170 makes Maine the fourth state – following Hawaii, California and New Jersey – to raise its tobacco sales age to 21. At least 255 counties and cities nationwide, including Portland, ME, have already passed similar measures.
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.