The American Lung Association is proud to have Oregon join Hawaii and three other states in raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Oregon and throughout the United States. Increasing the sales age for tobacco products impacts youth tobacco use and moves us closer to our goal of raising our nation's first tobacco-free generation.
The measure had strong support from Oregon's governor Kate Brown and was championed through the legislature by Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward.
The Oregon Thoracic Society joined with the Lung Association and other health organizations to support the bill. About 95 percent of smokers try their first cigarette before age 21, and many tobacco users transition from experimenting to regular tobacco use between the ages of 18 and 21.
Students engaged in supporting this legislation and shared that all too often, younger teens will ask their older friends to purchase tobacco products for them. This legislation will reduce the number of high school students who can purchase tobacco products.