Minimum Legal Age Position Statement
Minimum Legal Age Position Statement
Interact for Health believes that local, state and federal entities should enact policies that raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products to age 21.
Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and the Greater Cincinnati region.1 Smoking costs the United States more than $300 billion per year between direct medical costs and lost productivity.1,2 Reducing tobacco use is the single most important strategy that would improve health outcomes in our region. According to the 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS), 23% of adults in our region are current smokers with significant disparities existing between income levels.3 Preventing initiation of tobacco use and the transition to every day smoking is a critical component of reducing future tobacco-related death and disease. Nearly 9 in 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18.4
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that raising the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products to 21 will significantly reduce the number of adolescents and young adults who start smoking (particularly among ages 15-17), reduce smoking-caused deaths and immediately improve the health of adolescents, young adults and young mothers who would be deterred from smoking, as well as their children.5 The IOM projected that if the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products was increased to 21 nationwide, there would be 223,000 fewer premature deaths and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019.5
Therefore, Interact for Health believes that local, state and federal entities should enact policies that raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products to age 21.5
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General, Atlanta, GA: HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and
Health, 2014, http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-ofprogress/index.html.
2 Xu X, Bishop EE, Kennedy SM, Simpson SA, Pechacek TF. Annual Healthcare Spending Attributable to Cigarette Smoking: An Update American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2014;48(3):326–333 [accessed 2018 Feb 15].
3 Interact for Health. (2017). Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey. Cincinnati, OH.
4 Office on Smoking and Health (U.S.). (2006). The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bNBK44324/.
5 IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2015. Public health implications of raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- Minimum Legal Age Position Statement
- Tobacco Tax Position Statement
- Tobacco Free Environments Position Statement
- Health Disparities Position Statement
- Advancing Medicaid in Ohio Position Statement
- Marijuana as Medicine Position Statement
- Marijuana's Effect on Youth Position Statement
- High Quality Preschool Improves Health Position Statement
Half of homes with children have guns
The most recent Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) found more than 4 in 10 (42%) of Ohio adults report keeping at least one firearm in or around their home. This number has increased from 2013, when 36% reported keeping a firearm.
Number drops to slightly less than half in Northern Kentucky
A majority (56%) of Kentucky adults say childhood obesity is a serious problem in the state, according to the most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll.
Nearly all support having a nurse in each school building.
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that more than 8 in 10 Kentucky adults (84%) strongly or somewhat favor schools taking a more active role in helping families get health care services for children. Healthy students are able to achieve more academic success than those facing challenges to their health.
More Kentucky adults have favorable opinion about ACA
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that more Kentucky adults have a favorable opinion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (44%) than a negative opinion (33%). The percent of adults with a favorable opinion has been increasing since the poll first started tracking the ACA in 2010, when it became law. In 2010, 26% had a favorable opinion of the ACA.
One in 4 Kentucky adults concerned about losing their health insurance.
Rate of employer-sponsored health insurance declines; more Northern Kentucky adults lack insurance than in rest of state. The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found one in four (24%) of insured Kentucky adults ages 18 to 64 are concerned about losing health coverage within the next year.
Kentucky adults overwhelmingly favor tobacco-free schools.
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 9 in 10 adults (87%) favor schools adopting tobacco-free campus policies in their communities. Support for tobacco-free school policies has been consistently strong -- favored by 85% of Kentucky adults in 2015 and 84% in 2013.
Most Kentucky adults favor raising minimum age to buy tobacco to 21.
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 6 in 10 Kentucky adults (58 percent) favor raising the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. This support has held steady since 2015, the first time KHIP asked this question. Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky sponsored the poll.
Nearly half of young adults in Kentucky have tried an e-cigarette
The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 3 in 10 Kentucky adults reported ever using e-cigarettes. The rate is higher than national statistics, where just over 2 in 10 adults reported ever using e-cigarettes. The highest reported use was among young adults in Kentucky, where nearly half said they had ever used an e-cigarette.
Most Kentucky adults support a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law
The 2017 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that 71 percent of Kentucky adults support a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law. This remains the highest level of support since the poll began tracking this topic.
Half of Ohio adults say they favor needle exchange programs
Half of Ohio adults (50 percent) said they favor and about 4 in 10 Ohio adults (42 percent) said they oppose needle exchange programs, according to the most recent Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP).
6 in 10 Ohio adults favor raising minimum age to buy tobacco to 21
Six in 10 Ohio adults (58 percent) favor raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 according to the 2017 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP). This is an increase from 2016. A majority of Democrats (67 percent) and Republicans (60 percent) favored increasing the purchase age to 21. OHIP also asked if Ohio adults support a tax increase of 65 cents per pack of cigarettes; half of Ohio adults (53 percent) were in support.
2 in 10 allow smoking in homes.
The 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS), funded by Interact for Health, has found that 23 percent of adults in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area are current smokers. Although the rate has been steadily declining, our region is still higher than the nation, where 18 percent of adults were smokers in 2015.
Greater Cincinnati Health Watch
Greater Cincinnati Health Watch is a free biweekly e-mail newsletter published by Interact for Health. Each issue includes health news stories from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and the nation, with emphasis on topics related to Interact for Health's focus areas of substance use disorders, severe mental illness, school-aged children's healthcare, and community primary care.