We know that 95 percent of smokers begin before they turn 21, and more than 80 percent of adult smokers first try smoking before age 18. Smoking kills 8,900 people and racks up $1.92 billion in health care expenditures every year. There are effective ways to keep our kids from becoming addicted to nicotine and we have a shot at significantly reducing the heavy price we all pay in illness, death and extra taxes tied to Kentucky’s high rates of tobacco use.
- Raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco or tobacco related products to 21 years of age.
- Support a state excise tax on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, or e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products at a rate of 27.5 percent of the wholesale price, which is equivalent to the current Kentucky excise tax.
- Increase prevention and cessation funding by $10 million to support comprehensive programs.