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Raising the Minimum Smoking Age

Posted by on June 29th, 2017 Posted in: Consumer Health, General (all entries), K-12
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Untitled by Nuna Silva is licensed under CC0.

Just last week, we shared that teen tobacco use had dropped from 4.7 million to 3.9, a significant drop, but something that needs to be further reduced, as it is at this age when they develop the smoking habit; 9 out of 10 smokers started before age 18, and almost no one starts smoking after age 25.

Well, the drop could be further reduced due to one particular measure that has been put up to debate–raising the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes. New research is showing that nearly two-thirds of teens support raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21.

According to a MedlinePlus article, “Raising the minimum tobacco purchase age to 21 would likely have significant public health benefits. There would be 249,000 fewer premature deaths and 45,000 fewer lung cancer deaths for people born between 2010 and 2019, the researchers said.”

The study surveyed more than 17,000 kids aged 11 to 18 at 185 different schools.

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, oftentimes, teens turn to alternative nicotine methods, such as vaping or e-cigarettes, sometimes not realizing these products contain nicotine themselves. The initiative proposed to the students would also limit the sale and purchase of e-cigarettes to those 21 and older.

To learn more about the research and the tobacco age limit increase initiative, please visit “Raise the Smoking Age to 21? Most Kids Fine With That.”

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