A bill was recently introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives that would raise the legal purchase age of tobacco products in Michigan to 21.
House Bill 4736 was introduced by Representative Tommy Brann (R-District 77) and cosponsored by a mix of Republicans and Democrats from a wide varied of districts across Michigan.
Why is Tobacco 21 legislation important?
Tobacco use continues to be a significant public health concern and a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Though we have made some great strides, nearly 25% of high school students still report using tobacco products and the U.S. Surgeon General estimated that nearly 6 million children will die prematurely in adulthood if current trends continue.
In 2013, 2.1 million people smoked cigarettes for the first time, half of which were under the age of 18. In fact, nearly 90% of smokers begin before age 18, and 95% begin before turning 26. This is why Tobacco 21 (T21) is so important. T21 legislation, such as HB 4763, would reduce our youth's access to, and use of, tobacco products.
The fact is, the younger someone is when they smoke their first cigarette, the more likely they will be a smoker for life. Sadly, of every 3 young smokers, one will eventually die a smoking-related illness or disease.