Raising the Minimum Sale Age of Tobacco to 21:
Crave the Change is working in partnership with the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) to raise awareness of the benefits which come from raising the minimum sale age of tobacco to 21. This lifesaving measure is gaining momentum nationwide and we want to advance efforts here in Central Minnesota.
Americans overwhelmingly support raising the tobacco age to 21. A recent survey found 75 percent of adults, including seven out of ten smokers, favor raising the tobacco age to 21. One in four Americans – millions of them young people – will reap the health and economic benefits of fewer smokers in the coming years and decades. The number of communities adopting this lifesaving policy has snowballed since 2015 but still much work remains to be done.
Here in Minnesota, we need to continue to push for the same protection for all young people in the state!
As you may know, two Minnesota cities are among the growing number of communities that have passed Tobacco 21 polices. Edina and St. Louis Park were the state’s leaders and many other Minnesota communities are considering similar T21 policies. Nearly 300 municipalities have updated their ordinances to include an age raise to 21. There is even better news, you can help! By signing an endorsement postcard, you can support greater St. Cloud elected officials in raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21.
Tobacco 21 works by making it harder for young people to access tobacco products through older teens in their social circles. This keeps more teens from ever starting to use tobacco. If young people can be prevented from getting addicted to dangerous tobacco products, chances are they never will. Nearly 95 percent of addicted adult smokers began smoking by the time they turned 21.
In 2017, tobacco is still a problem. We must do what we can to prevent our young people from a life of addiction and disease from tobacco. Raising the age to 21 is one very important tool in the toolbox of teen tobacco prevention. Click here to learn more about Tobacco 21.
“That’s 30,000 Minnesota kids over the next 15 years who will not become addicted. That would be impressive,” ClearWay’s Anne Mason said in an interview. “It takes it out of a high school kid’s social circle. … If (tobacco companies) don’t get to you before age 21, chances are you won’t become an addicted adult.”
Tobacco 21 Fast Facts:
· There would be a 25% reduction in 15-to-17-year-olds starting to smoke if the tobacco age was raised to 21. (link)
· If all states were to raise the tobacco age to 21, there would be a 12% decrease in cigarette smoking prevalence across the nation by 2100. This would translate into nearly 250,000 fewer premature deaths from cigarette smoking among people born between 2000 and 2019 (link)
· Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will prevent 30,000 Minnesota kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years. (link)
· A large majority of adults – 75% – support raising the age to 21. (link)
· Even 70% of smokers are in support of raising the minimum legal age. (link)
· Needham Massachusetts found that tobacco use among high-school students fell by nearly half after raising the age to 21. (link)
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