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Friday, July 1, 2016

Chicago Just Did This to Help Keep More Teens Alive!

Teens smoking

The American Cancer Society reports that smoking kills more than 6 million people every year. If the trend continues, smoking and tobacco use is estimated to kill 8 million people annually by the year 2030, including teens. Chicago is joining other cities in raising the legal age to 21 for selling tobacco products which will help save many more teen lives.

How raising the age will save teens

The city of Chicago joins the states of Hawaii and California in raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco products. It's a very good move, according to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation which states that "The younger the buyer is, the less likely they are to achieve a purchase" of tobacco. They are supported by a 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine, on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which cited one of the benefits of passing a nationwide Tobacco 21 policy as a 25 percent drop in youth smoking initiation.

Others agree

Even the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) released a study in 2015 showing that 75 percent of adults support raising the tobacco age to 21. The supporters included 70 percent current smokers and 65 percent in the age group 18-24. The latest move by Chicago may not discourage all teens from smoking, but according to Diana Knight of the Northeast Tobacco Free Partnership, who stated, “People who start smoking as teens smoke more, become addicted more easily, and have a harder time quitting,” it will prevent many from becoming addicted to tobacco as they get older.

Interestingly, across the country, 170 local jurisdictions have done the same thing as Chicago. States, cities and jurisdictions have the option of approving the same decree. For example, although the state of Illinois recently declined a proposal to raise the age, the city of Chicago approved it. They are hoping others cities will do the same thing.

For more details about Chicago's new laws, visit www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/tobaccoregulations.html
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