States Should Heed Strong Support for Raising Tobacco Age of Sale, Says American Heart Association

July 07, 2015 Categories: Advocacy News

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2015 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on a new national survey from the Centers for Disease Control which found that more than three quarters of adults, including seven out of 10 smokers, supported raising the age of sale for tobacco products to 21:

“We encourage state officials to pay attention to this timely new survey which indicates growing support for changing the current age for tobacco purchases. The association will certainly point to these results as we work to pass laws in 49 states raising the legal limit to 21.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in this country, and 90 percent of all adult tobacco users start by the age of 19. Yet, if we can keep young Americans from buying tobacco until they turn 21, we could prevent 223,000 premature deaths among those born between 2000 and 2019, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Any action we can take to stop the young from taking that first deadly puff should be ardently pursued. That’s why we urge all other states to follow Hawaii’s lead and make 21 the nationwide age limit for purchasing any tobacco product.”  

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For media inquiries, please contact Retha Sherrod at Retha.sherrod@heart.org or 202-785-7929