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IOM concludes raising age of tobacco sales to 21 saves lives

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On March 12, 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IOM published its report entitled, “Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products”.  The report concluded that raising the minimum age for legal access to tobacco products to at least 21 years old will significantly reduce smoking rates.

The IOM report concluded that if the United States raised the age of sale to 21, there would be approximately 223,000 fewer premature deaths, 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019.

The report also concluded that by increasing the age of sale of tobacco, there will be a reduction in tobacco use initiation, particularly among adolescents 15 to 17 years of age, improvement in the health of Americans across their lifespan, and the saving of lives. IOM is a nonprofit under the U.S. Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read the IOM Report here.

Read the IOM Committee meeting minutes on activities leading up to the report here.