This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act” which will work to protect youth from tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems by raising the national age of sale to from 18 to 21. ASCO endorsed the legislation in a letter from ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO.
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Last month, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced companion bills (H.R. 2411/S. 1258) in the House and Senate to raise the legal age of purchasing tobacco to 21. ASCO has endorsed this legislation as a part of its ongoing commitment to policies that reduced the prevalence of tobacco use and occurrence of cancer and other smoking-caused diseases.
ASCO has endorsed the recently introduced Preventing Opportunities for Teen E-Cigarette and Tobacco Addiction (PROTECT) Act, which would authorize $100 million in funding each year for five years for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative to address the alarming rise in use of e-cigarettes by adolescents.
The Illinois state legislature has passed a bill raising the age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21 years of age. ASCO and the Illinois Medical Oncology Society worked together to send letters of support to the House and Senate committees.
Approximately 5 million middle and high school students reported currently using a tobacco product, with over 3.6 million currently using e-cigarettes and about half (2.5 million) currently using a combustible tobacco product, according to the latest findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).