I am very concerned as a cancer survivor, parent, grandparent and mentor to high school students who are being targeted and exposed daily to tobacco products and e-cigarettes. I am an advocate with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and I support efforts to raise the smoking age to 21.
This law will help protect middle school and high school students from a lifelong addiction that can cause cancer, emphysema, etc. and an early death.
It is easy for teens to have access to tobacco products like e-cigarettes through their older classmates. About 40 Washington students become new smokers daily, heading toward a lifetime of deadly addiction.
I joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network advocates, cancer patients and survivors and local high school students in Olympia on Feb. 25 to share our stories with our elected officials as we urged them to pass this “tobacco 21” legislation. They heard our message loud and clear. The House voted with bipartisan support to raise the age of sale for tobacco products to age 21. It is now in the hands of the Senate and then the governor for this to become law.
If we don’t curb smoking rates, approximately 104,000 Washington students who are young teenagers today will die prematurely from the use of tobacco. As a grandparent I do not want my grandchildren to become a statistic.