Support legislation with strong enforcement provisions that increases the age to purchase tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to 21.
The adolescent brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Studies indicate that smoking during adolescence increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment in later life.
95% of adults who smoke started before age 21. Raising the purchasing age to 21 helps prevent the next generation of adult smokers.
Support legislation that creates an option for local authorities to pass smoke-free ordinances, to save lives and reduce the death and disease caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
Preemptive state laws have a devastating effect on tobacco control efforts and on the public health of the states’ residents.
Local governments have the right and responsibility to respond to the needs and concerns of their communities. However, when it comes to limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, local communities are specifically preempted from taking action.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and about 70 are known to cause cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a substance which is known to cause human cancer.
Tobacco 21 is an important issue as nationally 95% of adult who smoke start before they turn 21. This time-period is when the brain is fully developing, including the parts responsible for decision making, impulse control, sensation seeking, and susceptibility to peer pressure.