Today, Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation released the following statement on raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21:
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation supports the national Tobacco 21 movement and encourages Minnesota to look for ways to move forward on raising the purchase age to 21 to prevent addiction and future health problems.
Youth tobacco use is still a problem in Minnesota. More than 55,000 middle-school and high-school students in this state use conventional tobacco products, and nearly 40,000 students use e-cigarettes.
Minnesotans agree that we need to do more to keep kids from a lifetime of tobacco addiction and disease. The best way to prevent them from using tobacco products is to keep them from starting in the first place.
More than 120 cities across the country and the state of Hawaii have adopted policies to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21 to restrict youth access. A map of these communities is available here: Tobacco 21 National Map.
These measures reflect the growing momentum to raise the age to 21. In fact, 75 percent of Americans surveyed support increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.
Raising the age to 21 has also gained the attention of the New England Journal of Medicine, which recently published an article, “Have Tobacco 21 Laws Come of Age?“, summarizing the latest evidence and national momentum surrounding Tobacco 21 laws.
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a statewide coalition supporting policies that will reduce youth smoking and help end the death and disease associated with tobacco use for good. ClearWay Minnesota is a member of the coalition.