56,000 CT kids, now under the age of 18, will eventually die from their own tobacco use.
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The American Heart Association is aggressively continuing its work to pass legislation to increase the CT state minimum legal sales age to purchase tobacco to 21. We look to follow the successful examples of other states and localities that have done so, and to make CT a leader in this movement. To date, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine, and Oregon have all increased the tobacco sales age to 21. Additionally, 159 localities in Massachusetts, 16 in New York, 2 in Rhode Island, and many others, have done so as well.
During the 2017 legislative session, which ended in June, we made great progress in achieving our goal. Our bill enjoyed broad support, and successfully made it out of the two committees that it was assigned to. Once the 2018 legislative session begins in February, we will be back at it. Why? Because heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S., and smoking is the #1 cause of heart disease. In CT, 4,300 adults die each year from their own smoking. 56,000 of our state’s kids who are now under age 18 will eventually die prematurely from smoking. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. We know Tobacco 21 will save lives!
To ultimately be successful, however, we will need your help! If you have not done so already, please go to YoureTheCure.org and become an AHA advocate. This will allow you to easily and effortlessly respond to action alerts on this issue, and others, all with the goal of making CT a healthier place for our friends and neighbors.