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Tobacco 21 Stalled for the Year – Politics Won Out Over Vermont Kids

Despite our best efforts, legislation that would have raised the sale age for tobacco in Vermont to 21 has stalled for the year.

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Though we originally had enough votes in the Senate to pass the measure, a number of senators changed their votes and we just couldn’t gather enough to move the bill this session.

The American Heart Association, along with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont, held a press conference on April 4th to urge senators to take up this important life-saving measure and pass it. We got great media attention. See the stories below. But despite these and endorsements from WPTZ, the St. Albans Messenger, and former Commissioner of Health Harry Chen, and numerous phone calls and emails from our volunteers, senators didn’t budge.

As you’ll see in the stories below, politics, concern over the age of majority and ability to serve in the military at 18, the right to smoke and other issues were put before kids’ health. Please let your senators know this is an important issue, you’re disappointed the Senate didn’t act, and you hope they will make it a priority next session. You can reach your senators at: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people/all/2018/Senate

Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/articles/higher-smoking-age-stalls/

VPR: http://digital.vpr.net/post/lawmakers-debating-tobacco-bill-weigh-rights-health-18-year-olds

Seven Days: http://m.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/ashes-to-ashes-smoking-bill-puts-senators-in-bind/Content?oid=5061937

Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-disgusting-addiction/article_d6e702da-1b04-58b3-acce-84f5174ad5af.html

WPTZ: http://www.mynbc5.com/article/nbc5-editorial-will-vermont-kick-the-habit/9214974

VTDigger Op-Ed: https://vtdigger.org/2017/04/10/harry-chen-protecting-future-saving-lives/?utm_source=VTDigger+Subscribers+and+Donors&utm_campaign=b1ca81ccf7-Weekly+Update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc3c5486db-b1ca81ccf7-25678345  

 

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