KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thursday evening on the day of the Great American Smokeout, leaders in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area issued a powerful statement that crossed state lines. United in the fight against nicotine and tobacco addiction, city and county councils in Kansas City, Missouri, and Wyandotte County, KS (encompassing Kansas City, Kansas) simultaneously passed ordinances to raise their tobacco sales age to 21.
These leaders were responding to recent studies showing a 50% drop in high school smoking when tobacco goes to age 21, and a 350 page report from the FDA and the Institute of Medicine projecting 4.2 million years of life saved just among kids alive today if the nation adopts age 21.
In Kansas City, tobacco now logically joins alcohol and handguns as high-risk sales items limited to those over age 21. Concealed carry and foster parenting are also restricted to age 21. A recently released CDC poll shows that 75% of Americans support raising the age to 21, including 70% of smokers.
The Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, joined by over a hundred other local civic and health organizations, led the effort. In addition to youth protection and health promotion, the Chamber notes that businesses pay an extra $5800 per year to employ a smoking worker as compared to a non-smoking employee. "It's one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting a noxious habit that can end in their early death," stated Chamber President and CEO, Jim Heeter.
The president of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, Ohio State University professor of Family Medicine, Dr. Rob Crane, writes, "age 21 for all nicotine and tobacco products is logical and simple to understand, is backed by the weight of scientific evidence and supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. Plus, the real beauty for political leaders, it costs the taxpayer almost nothing while yielding huge long-term benefits in health and health care savings."
Contact: Thomas Geist
SOURCE Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation