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American Lung Association Congratulates City of Hartford for Raising the Age of Sale of All Tobacco Products to 21

(October 22, 2018) - HARTFORD, Conn.

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon
[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

The American Lung Association congratulates the Hartford City Council on passing an ordinance that raises the age of sale of tobacco products to 21. The ordinance, which was introduced by Councilman Larry Deutsch, makes Hartford the first city in the State of Connecticut to pass this policy.

The ordinance, which includes the purchase of electronic cigarettes, follows an announcement from the State Department of Public Health earlier this month that the number of high school students using electronic cigarettes doubled in just two years.  According to their report 14.7% of high school students reported current use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), compared to 7.2% in 2015.  The survey found 1 in 10 ninth graders and over 1 in 5 twelfth graders currently use ENDS.

Ruth Canovi, Director of Public Policy for the American Lung Association in Connecticut praised the move as an important one for public health policy:

“We are proud to congratulate the Hartford City Council on taking this important step to protect young people from beginning a dangerous addiction to tobacco.

Tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, and e-cigarettes offer youths a new opportunity to begin a harmful and lifelong addiction to tobacco.  According to the American Lung Association’s State of Tobacco Control Report, 14 percent of high school students in the state of Connecticut are using tobacco. We also know that nearly 95 percent of adult smokers report trying their first cigarette before the age of 21 – and that this policy can save lives.

In fact, according to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) finding that increasing the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 could prevent 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer – the nation’s leading cancer killer.  Some of those lives are Connecticut’s children.

The leadership on display in Hartford has been heartening and we now look to other municipalities to follow suit.  The grassroots effort to raise the age of sale in the State of Connecticut is officially underway and we look forward to seeing it take hold in cities and towns across the state.”

Other statewide Tobacco 21 policies have been enacted in California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey Oregon, and Massachusetts requiring consumers to be 21 years of age to purchase tobacco products.

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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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