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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2018 03:35 PM
From: Representative Marty Flynn
To: All House members
Subject: Increasing the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 36.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. The CDC also cites that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, which accounts for more than 480,000 deaths a year, or 1 of every 5 deaths. Therefore, enabling our young people to have access to a product that has been medically proven to have more harmful effects than alcohol, a product which an individual must be 21 years old to have legal access, seems not only contradictory but imprudent on our part as lawmakers. To this end, I am proposing an increase to the age of legal access to tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products is not a novel idea. As of this writing, six states have passed legislation raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products statewide: Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Maine, and Massachusetts. Additionally, similar measures have been implemented in at least 380 localities nationwide.

The health and long term prosperity of our future generations is of the upmost importance. Raising the age of legal access would have a real, positive impact on our youngest citizens. Please join me in co-sponsoring this effort to save lives and end the needless damage tobacco causes to the development of young adults.

Introduced as HB536