Letter to the Editor: Raise legal age for tobacco

Delaware lawmakers need to put our future ahead of Big Criminal Tobacco companies by raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco to 21.

Countless lives have been saved when mothers banded together to try to prevent teen drunk driving deaths by raising the age for purchase of alcohol and they are similarly united again with almost 70 percent of Delawareans and even most smokers surveyed expressing support for Tobacco 21 laws.

I was terribly dismayed to learn that when the data came in some of our worst fears about Juul and Vaping proved to be true: about 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of some type of tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017.

This increase — driven by a surge in e-cigarette use — erased past progress in reducing youth tobacco use. And even more alarming, frighteningly high numbers of youth tobacco users are using multiple types of tobacco products with the most common combination being: e-cigarettes AND regular combustible cigarettes.

Lawmakers across the political spectrum discover notable agreement that finding ways to limit and eventually eliminate tobacco use is an imperative. Smoking is on the decline thankfully, but this crucial step of raising the minimum sales age for tobacco is needed to move us further towards an end to the tobacco problem.

Carol Holzman
Executive Director
The Moorings at Lewes

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