The following is a statement by Jayaram Srinivasan, MD, MPH, CPH, Senior Medical Advisor, CASAColumbia®:
NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "New York City's decision to raise the legal sales age to 21 for cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, is a significant public health initiative. This law can help reduce the costly consequences of substance use and addiction. Nationally more than 95 percent of cases of addiction involving nicotine originate with smoking before age 21. A growing body of evidence suggests that earlier use of nicotine not only increases the risk of addiction involving nicotine but other drugs as well. New York City's policy should serve as a model to others."
CASAColumbia, formerly known as The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, is a science-based organization focused on developing effective solutions to address the disease of addiction. It is committed to understanding the science of addiction and its implications for health care, public policy and education. CASAColumbia informs Americans of the economic and social costs of addiction and risky substance use and its impact on their lives; assesses what works in prevention, treatment and disease management; and encourages every individual and institution to take responsibility to reduce these health problems. Founded in 1992 by Joseph A. Califano, Jr. former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, CASAColumbia strives to provide health care providers, policymakers and individuals with the tools they need to succeed and to remove the stigma of addiction, replacing shame and despair with hope. The only shame in the fight against addiction is indifference. For more information www.casacolumbia.org