American Lung Association Praises Governor Lamont’s Tobacco Proposal as Having Life-Saving Potential
(February 20, 2019) - HARTFORD, Conn.
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The American Lung Association applauded and thanked Governor Lamont for his announcement that he will include two key tobacco control policies in the Executive Budget. By raising the age of sale of all tobacco products from 18 to 21 and implementing a 75 percent tax on e-cigarettes, the State of Connecticut can begin to reverse the recent and drastic increase of youth tobacco use within the state and serve as a national example for other states looking to fight back against the e-cigarette epidemic.
Ruth Canovi, Director of Advocacy for American Lung Association in Connecticut issued a statement praising the move as a bold one for public health:
“Smoking kills more than 4,900 Connecticut residents each year and costs the state over $2 billion annually. Additionally, the use of e-cigarettes by our youth is an epidemic that demands bold action. The Governor’s legislative proposal will save lives, protect countless young people, and save the state in healthcare costs.
In 2018, over 17% of Connecticut high school students reported using tobacco products, and e-cigarettes are proving to be just another tool reeling them into a dangerous and often lifetime of addiction to nicotine. Successful grassroots efforts in Hartford and Bridgeport have already shown that the people of Connecticut are ready to raise the age of sale of all tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) from 18 to 21 – a proven way to protect young people from tobacco-related illness. If the Governor’s proposal is passed by the legislature – and we hope that it is – Connecticut would be poised to be the 7thstate in the nation1 to raise the age of sale for these dangerous products.
Further, by increasing the tax on e-cigarettes Connecticut will reduce the consumption of e-cigarettes among our youth. It will discourage new e-cigarette users from starting and push current e-cigarette users to quit their nicotine addiction, once and for all.
Together, these two components of the Governor’s proposal will help countless Connecticut youth avoid a lifetime addiction to nicotine and many long-term health issues.
Finally, while this package opens the door for Connecticut to be a national leader on tobacco policy, we would encourage the Governor to also consider increasing funding the State’s tobacco control programs. The state receives over $500 million in tobacco-related revenue from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, and yet plans to provide zero dollars to the tobacco and health trust fund. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending a funding level of $32 million, the state of Connecticut’s lack of funding is leaving Connecticut lives on the line.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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