TUCSON, AZ – As strong proponents of raising the tobacco sale age to 21, the American Heart Association (AHA) and CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, commend the City of Tucson for passing a “Tobacco 21” policy to improve the health and well-being of all residents. The measure provides a good example of how well-designed policies can maintain impactful enforcement without penalizing youth. The measure passed 6-1.
“CityHealth applauds Tucson leaders for protecting children and families from the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes,” said Shelley Hearne, DrPH, President of CityHealth, a partner of AHA. “Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in America, and now, new developments provide evidence of the grave dangers associated with e-cigarettes. It’s absolutely essential for officials to show leadership on this issue and protect youth.”
“We want to thank our partners at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the American Heart Association, and all of the local advocates in Tucson for their work on this important law, which will help secure the health and wellbeing of a new generation.”
Tobacco is harmful at any age, but it is especially addicting and detrimental to those under 21. Approximately 75% of teen smokers continue into adulthood. And from age 18-21, many smokers transition from experimentation to regular use of cigarettes and other tobacco products like e-cigarettes – the dangers of which we are just beginning to understand. In Arizona alone, 21,600 kids try smoking for the first time each year. 5,500 of them become regular smokers. And a staggering 115,000 Arizona kids alive now will ultimately die prematurely from smoking if the current trend continues.
AHA and CityHealth applaud the City of Tucson for taking common sense action to ensure a healthier future for the next generation.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, advances a package of evidence-based policy solutions that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities. CityHealth regularly evaluates cities on the number and strength of their policies. www.cityhealth.org
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