Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), joined by seven other Senators, introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act (S.2100), legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
In the last 50 years, nearly 21 million people in the United States have died due to tobacco-related illnesses, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the country. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine found that raising the legal age of sale of tobacco products to 21 nationwide would reduce the number of new tobacco users, decrease smoking frequency by 12 percent, and save more than 220,000 lives from deaths related to smoking.
Senators co-sponsoring the bill are: Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Mark Takai (D-Hawai’i).
The Tobacco to 21 Act is supported by the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, American Pediatric Society, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Veterans (AMVETS), American Public Health Association, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Trust for America’s Health, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, First Focus Campaign for Children, Pediatric Policy Council, Society for Pediatric Research, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), Hawai’i Medical Service Association, and Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai’i.
Click for a summary of the Tobacco to 21 Act.