Youth Tobacco Prevention Bill
The Youth Tobacco Prevention Bill
Bills that originated in the House of Representatives (H. 2050, H. 2021, H. 1954, H. 1975) are now part of a comprehensive youth tobacco prevention bill, H. 4361, to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction.
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- Raises the tobacco age to 21
- Stops pharmacies from selling tobacco
- Prohibits e-cigarette use in smokefree workplaces
WHY WE NEED THIS BILL
95% of adult smokers start smoking before age 21.
- Moving from age 18 to 21 removes tobacco from the high school social setting.
- 3,900 more Massachusetts kids will become new daily smokers this year.
Institute of Medicine report released last year predicted that raising the tobacco sales age to 21 will significantly reduce the smoking rate and save lives.
Tobacco and nicotine use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Massachusetts.
- Youth are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction, nicotine has harmful health impacts on the developing brain.
- The tobacco industry is changing and innovating, introducing new products and marketing strategies that appeal to youth.
- While collectively we have made progress in reducing rates of youth smoking, we are now facing growing use by young people of other addictive tobacco and nicotine products.
Tobacco and nicotine use costs Massachusetts and our residents more than $4 billion annually in healthcare costs.
- Not only is tobacco use the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in our state, it is a significant cost driver that we all pay in increased health insurance premiums and Medicaid costs.
E-cigarette use among teens is on the rise.
- Dramatic increase from 2011 at 2% to 16% now.
- A Journal of Pediatrics study found teens using e-cigarettes are "more apt to move on to regular cigarettes”.
TO GET INVOLVED
Contact your lawmakers today to support the bill!
Casey Harvell, American Lung Association, Casey.Harvell@lung.org
Allyson Perron, American Heart Association, Allyson.Perron@heart.org
Letter to the Editor by American Lung Association of the Northeast CEO Jeff Seyler | Boston Globe - Age limit for cigarettes is not arbitrary — it’s a lifesaver
Boston Globe Editorial - Raise the tobacco age to 21
Institute of Medicine Report