MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from ClearWay Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health released an article in the most recent edition of Minnesota Medicine concluding that raising the state's tobacco age to 21 would have important health benefits. Their calculations suggest raising the age would prevent thousands of Minnesota kids from becoming smokers in the next 15 years.
"Two states and more than 200 cities across the country have raised the tobacco age to 21," said Dr. Raymond Boyle, Director of Research Programs at ClearWay Minnesota. "The data we lay out in this article provide compelling proof that such a policy would have an enormous health benefit in Minnesota."
The article, "Raising the Minimum Legal Sale Age for Tobacco to 21," was published in the January-February issue of Minnesota Medicine, released this week. It is the first of its kind to flesh out the specific statewide impact that raising the tobacco sale age would have on the smoking behavior of adolescents and young adults.
Specifically, if Minnesota raised the legal sale age to 21:
- 25 percent fewer 15-year-olds would start smoking by the time they turn 18;
- 15 percent fewer 18-year-olds would start smoking by the time they turn 21; and
- This translates into 30,000 young people not becoming smokers in the next 15 years.
"Minnesota's comprehensive approach to tobacco prevention and treatment – including strong policies – has contributed to significantly less smoking in recent years," said Boyle. "But this research shows that raising the tobacco age to 21 would prevent future generations of young people from starting and help to end the burden of cigarette smoking."
About ClearWay MinnesotaSM
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.
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SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota