A law that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to those younger than 21 years of age was recently enacted in Nassau County.
“We are thrilled that County Executive Laura Curran acted to protect young people from Big Tobacco by signing this bill into law. Tobacco 21 is a common-sense measure that will help prevent kids from picking up their first cigarette. Approximately 95 percent of smokers started smoking before the age of 21,” Julie Hart, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Government Relations Director in support of the new lifesaving law. “The longer we can delay initiation of tobacco use, the less likely it is that someone will begin this terrible addiction. Increasing the age for the sale of tobacco products is a promising strategy in the effort to keep kids from beginning this deadly addiction and may decrease their risk of many cancers and other diseases.”
A report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled, The Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products concluded that raising the age for the sale of cigarettes to 21 can significantly lower smoking rates. The IOM report predicts that raising the national minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 will likely lead to a 12 percent reduction in smoking prevalence.
“It is now time for New York State to enact Tobacco-21 legislation,” added Hart.
For more information on this law, visit www.acscan.org.