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New Hampshire seeks to raise the tobacco sale age to 21

 

The American Heart Association has long supported evidence-based policies to reduce the rate of tobacco use among adults and youth. Eliminating the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke, with smoke-free workplaces, restaurants and bars has proven very successful and a policy that has been embraced by the public and lawmakers alike in New Hampshire. Increasing the price of tobacco by raising state excise tax has met limited success in NH, but also accompanies a drop in tobacco use by young people. However, NH still has the highest youth smoking rate in the Northeast. We know 95% of adult smokers began before the age of 21. The Institute of Medicine released a report in March which found raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 would reduce youth access to tobacco. The rationale, much like it was for reducing alcohol use, is to create more social distance between those under age 18 and those legally able to purchase tobacco. Raising the legal age to 21 will reduce tobacco use among youth, save lives and reduce healthcare costs attributed to tobacco related illness. To learn more, find the IOM report online:

http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/TobaccoMinimumAgeReport.aspx

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