Tobacco- March 19, 2015


The Institute of Medicine released a powerful new report finding that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will have a substantial positive impact on public health and save lives.
For Immediate Release:  March 12, 2015
Contact:      Peter Hamm, 202-296-5469

 Institute of Medicine Report Provides Powerful Evidence to Increase Tobacco Sale Age to 21 – States and Localities Should Act to Save Lives
Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Highlights of the report are below:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is a clarion call to states and localities across the country to raise the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21.

This report, by one of the most prestigious scientific authorities in the United States, strongly concludes that boosting the tobacco sale age to 21 will have a substantial positive impact on public health and save lives. It finds that raising the tobacco sale age will significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking; reduce smoking-caused deaths; and immediately improve the health of adolescents, young adults and young mothers who would be deterred from smoking, as well as their children. Significantly, the greatest impact would be among adolescents 15-17 who would no longer be able to pass for legal age and would have a harder time obtaining cigarettes from their older friends and classmates.

Overall, the report predicts that raising the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 will, over time, reduce the smoking rate by about 12 percent and smoking-related deaths by 10 percent.

This report shows that increasing the tobacco sale age is a key new tool to prevent young people from ever becoming addicted to tobacco and starting on a path that all too often leads to serious disease and premature death. It should be adopted widely along with other proven measures to reduce tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws and well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns.

Increasing the sale age to 21 will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all smoking begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry.  National data shows that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. The ages of 18 to 21 are a critical period when many smokers move from experimental smoking to regular, daily use. While half of adult smokers become daily smokers before 18, four out of five do so before they turn 21. Increasing the tobacco sale age to 21 will help prevent these young people from ever starting to smoke.

The Institute of Medicine is part of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The report and related materials can be found at

Reports and Articles
cigsstacked New Global Fund to Help Countries Defend Smoking Laws
New York Times: March 18, 2015
Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Wednesday that they had started a global fund to help low- and middle-income countries fight legal challenges to their smoking laws by the tobacco industry.
The fund is modest, at least so far, with a total of $4 million from the two charities. But Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the financial data and news company Bloomberg LP, said in a conference call with reporters that the investment was more like an initial marker, and that it was expected to grow as more donors joined the effort.

The Oregon House is expected to vote to ban the indoor use of electronic cigarettes in public places and in workplaces:

Crook County is kicking butts: Central Oregonian:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Washington, DC – Today, Senator Jeff Merkley, joined by Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and Markey (D-MA), met with the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products to urge the agency to finalize its plan for regulating tobacco products. During today’s meeting, Senator Merkley also asked for the FDA to strengthen the proposed rules to address flavorings and marketing clearly designed to attract children and to mandate child-proof packaging of liquid nicotine.

“It has been almost six years since the FDA was given the authority to regulate tobacco products like e-cigarettes and tobacco candy, and we are still waiting for some type of regulation,” said Merkley. “In the meantime, more and more children are being introduced to a lifetime of dependence on nicotine through deceptive marketing and flavorings and a complete failure to regulate e-cigarettes. Further delay is unacceptable.”

Seattle officials want to ban smoking in public parks
The Daily Astorian: March 19, 2015
Seattle officials are hoping to expand the city’s smoking ban to public parks.
The Seattle Times reports ( ) Mayor Ed Murray’s administration is asking the Board of Park Commissioners to approve a new rule that would prohibit smoking in all public parks in Seattle.
The new rule would go farther than the city’s current ban, which prohibits smoking, chewing or other tobacco use only within 25 feet of other park patrons and in play areas, beaches or playgrounds.
Breaking the new rule would result in a warning, followed by possible park exclusion for repeated violations.

Development of Targeted Messages to Promote Smoking Cessation among Construction Trade Workers
This article describes the researchers’ formative work to develop targeted messages to increase participation in an existing smoking cessation program among construction workers.

Exhaled Electronic Cigarette Emission: What’s Your Secondhand Exposure?
This brief examines what is currently known about electronic cigarettes and the problem, the source-exposure-dose paradigm applied to electronic cigarettes and future research needs.


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