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Why Some States Are Raising the Age to Buy Tobacco

Why Some States Are Raising the Age to Buy Tobacco
From TIME - August 11, 2017

Oregon became the fifth state to raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21.

Under a bill signed by Gov. Kate Brown this week, store clerks who sell traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars as well as those who sell vapes to people under 21 will face fines ranging from $50 up to $1,000 for multiple offenses.

The state joins neighboring California as well as Hawaii, New Jersey and Maine on the list of those that have recently raised their smoking age to 21, part of a nationwide movement to reduce tobacco use among younger Americans.

Rob Crane, President of Tobacco21, which advocates for raising the smoking age to 21, said that stopping people from trying tobacco early may help prevent addiction down the road. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 90 percent of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 20.

We are programmed as adolescents to try new things, which is a perfect recipe for dangerous things, he said.

Advocates argue that raising the age to buy tobacco will help reduce smoking. One study published in the journal Tobacco Control found that after the Boston suburb of Needham raised its sales age to 21, teen smoking was cut in half.

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