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Federal lawmakers want to raise smoking age to 21 (NJToday.net, Staff Reporter)

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On October 14, 2015 NJToday.net reported that many federal lawmakers want to raise the smoking age to 21. This group of lawmakers has introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act (S.2100), which would prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under 21 years of age. Tobacco 21 is supported by many organizations including American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Public Health Association, First Focus Campaign for Children, and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.

Senators which have endorsed the Tobacco 21 Act include Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill), Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai`I), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).  All make compelling cases within the article as explanations for their support. In the last 50 years, almost 21 million people have died due to preventable tobacco-related illnesses in the United States.

The article also cites a recent report by the Institute of Medicine which found raising the minimum age for the sale of tobacco nationwide would:

  • Decrease smoking frequency by 12%
  • Save more than 2200,000 lives from deaths related to smoking