ST. PAUL, Minn., March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation released the following statement on the national movement to save lives by raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21:
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation supports the national Tobacco 21 movement and encourages Minnesota to look for ways to move forward on raising the purchase age to 21 to prevent addiction and future health problems.
Youth tobacco use is still a problem in Minnesota. More than 55,000 middle-school and high-school students in this state use conventional tobacco products, and nearly 40,000 students use e-cigarettes.
Minnesotans agree that we need to do more to keep kids from a lifetime of tobacco addiction and disease. The best way to prevent them from using tobacco products is to keep them from starting in the first place.
More than 120 cities across the country and the state of Hawaii have adopted policies to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21 to restrict youth access. A map of these communities is available here: Tobacco 21 National Map.
These measures reflect the growing momentum to raise the age to 21. In fact, 75 percent of Americans surveyed support increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.
Raising the age to 21 has also gained the attention of The New England Journal of Medicine, which recently published an article, "Have Tobacco 21 Laws Come of Age?," summarizing the latest evidence and national momentum surrounding Tobacco 21 laws.
About Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of Minnesota's leading health and other interested organizations. We share a common goal of saving Minnesota youth from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. Each year in Minnesota, tobacco use is responsible for more than 5,100 deaths and almost $3 billion in preventable health care costs — and 90 percent of adult smokers started before the age of 18. Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation supports policies that reduce youth smoking and help end the death and disease associated with tobacco use.
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation Partners include: A Healthier Southwest, African American Leadership Forum, Allina Health, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Apple Tree Dental, Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare Health, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Essentia Health, Four Corners Partnership, HealthEast, HealthPartners, Hennepin County Medical Center, LAAMPP Institute, Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, Local Public Health Association of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Medica, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Cancer Alliance, MN Association of Community Health Centers, MN Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Hospital Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Public Health Association, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, and Twin Cities Medical Society. Find out more at: smokefreegenmn.org
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SOURCE Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation