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Tobacco 21

| February 9, 2017

Increasing the sales age of tobacco from 18 to 21

little girl trying to purchase tobacco

There are many benefits to increasing the sales age of tobacco from 18 to 21, also known as Tobacco 21.  Adolescence is a period of high susceptibility to nicotine addiction.  The younger people are when they start smoking, the more likely they are to become lifelong smokers.  In Lane County, 1 out of 3 eleventh graders smokes tobacco products.  Most youth in Lane County get their tobacco from their friends. Raising the legal age to buy tobacco to 21 will cut the distribution pathways to younger teens.

Are other places increasing the sales age of tobacco to 21?

Currently the states of California and Hawaii have increased the sales age of tobacco to 21. Over 200 cities and counties across the country have adopted a Tobacco 21 policy.

What is the predicted outcome of a tobacco 21 policy?

The Institute of Medicine estimates that the biggest impact will be to reduce smoking initiation among 15-17 year olds by 25%.  The Institute of Medicine also states that, by raising the legal sales age to 21, over time the percent of adults who smoke in Lane County will fall by 22%.

Is Lane County increasing the sales age of tobacco to 21?

On March 14, 2017, the Board of Health voted 3-2 to increase the sales age of tobacco to 21 throughout Lane County.  Beginning on April 13, 2017, the Tobacco 21 ordinance goes into effect.  For more information on the ordinance visit lanecounty.org/tobaccoinformation

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Category: smoking, Tobacco

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