Raising the legal sales age for tobacco will reduce youth use in NH.
There is another policy tool for advocates to reduce youth initiation of tobacco. Tobacco use in New Hampshire has gone down among both adults and youth due to some policy changes over the years. Smoke free restaurants have taken public tobacco use out of the mainstream, and reduced second-hand smoke exposure. But the numbers are still too high, especially among kids under the age of 18. In fact most people who use tobacco started before the age of 18. The American Heart Association and other partners in the fight to end tobacco use, are working on legislation in NH to raise the legal sales age for tobacco from 18 to 21 years. The state of Maine passed the policy this year, and many communities in Massachusetts set their own legal sales age to 21. NH can impact the number of kids age 15-17 who get their cigarettes from older adolescents ages 18-19 who are in their social circles by raising the age to 21.