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Tobacco 21 Information
2017 Tobacco Conference
Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products in Michigan to Age 21 Resolution
“Raising the legal minimum age for cigarette purchaser to 21 could gut our key young adult market (17-20) where we sell about 25 billion cigarettes and enjoy a 70% market share.” Phillip Morris report, 1/21/86
WHEREAS: Each year over 16,200 Michiganders die from tobacco use and 10,300 Michigan children become new regular, daily smokers, of whom a third will die prematurely because of this addiction;
WHEREAS: 95% of adults began smoking before age 21, and 4 out of 5 become regular, daily smokers before age 21. Young people are sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults, and the brain continues to develop until about age 25. The younger youth are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they will be addicted. Increasing the age at which young people first experiment with tobacco reduces the risk of nicotine addiction;
“If a man has never smoked by age 18, the odds are three-to-one he never will.
By age 24, the odds are twenty-to-one.” RJ Reynolds researcher, 1982
WHEREAS: Adolescents are more likely to obtain cigarettes from social sources than through commercial transactions, and youth who reported receiving offers of cigarettes from friends were more likely to initiate smoking and progress to experimentation. Raising the legal age of access to 21 would reduce the likelihood that young people would have access to tobacco products through social sources;
WHEREAS: Nearly 60 jurisdictions in 7 states have already raised the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products, and several states are currently considering statewide legislation to do so;
WHEREAS: Smoking-caused health costs in Michigan total more than $4.5 billion per year, including more than $1.3 billion in state and federal Medicaid expenditures, and raising the age of legal access to tobacco products to age 21 will likely decrease overall tobacco use rates, which in turn will likely lead to reduced future tobacco-related health care costs;
WHEREAS: In 2011 tobacco companies spent an estimated $276 million to market their products in Michigan, and 90.7 percent of middle school students and 92.9 percent of high school students were exposed to pro-tobacco ads in stores, in magazines or on the internet. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the more young people are exposed to cigarette advertising and promotional activities, the more likely they are to smoke. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers start smoking by age 18, and more than 80% of underage smokers choose brands from among the top three most heavily advertised;
WHEREAS: The Institute of Medicine concluded that raising the age of legal access to tobacco products to 21 years of age will likely prevent or delay initiation of tobacco use by adolescents and young adults, immediately improve the health of adolescents and young adults, improve maternal, fetal, and infant health outcomes, and substantially reduce smoking prevalence and smoking-related mortality over time, and predicted that raising the age now to 21 nationwide would result in approximately 249,000 fewer premature deaths, 45,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019;
BE IT RESOLVED: That the undersigned endorses raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products to 21 years of age.
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