Statement by the American Lung Association in California on CA Senate Bill 151 | American Lung Association

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Statement by the American Lung Association in California on CA Senate Bill 151

(February 4, 2015)

Statement by the American Lung Association in California on CA Senate Bill 151

The American Lung Association in California supports Senate Bill 151 (Hernandez). We are committed to keeping California kids tobacco-free by making smoking inconvenient and expensive. This legislation helps achieve this by increasing the purchase age for tobacco products to 21.

The fact is that the tobacco industry has a long and disturbing history of luring youth to their addictive products. 95% of US smokers start smoking before they turn 21 years old. Delaying the age when young people first experiment or begin using tobacco can reduce the risk that they transition to regular or daily tobacco use and increase their chances of successfully quitting if they do become regular users. This legislation would help prevent more youth from succumbing to an addiction that could cost them their lives. 

California has a rich history of strong tobacco control policies that have helped reduce smoking rates to record levels.  But, tobacco companies continue to look for new “replacement smokers.”  Increasing the sale age combined with other strategies to reduce tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws that apply to all workplaces and public places, and well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention and cessation programs, will help further reduce smoking rates in California.

- Kimberly Amazeen, Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy, American Lung Association in California

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