Dear [Decision Maker],
As a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), I am urging you to vote YES on the county ordinance which raises the age of sale for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 years old to 21.
Use of tobacco by youth remains unacceptably high with new users starting every day. Among Missouri high school students in 2015, 11 percent smoked cigarettes and 22 percent used electronic cigarettes. It is important that any effort to address youth initiation include all tobacco products. 190 cities in 12 states including the Missouri cities of Columbia, Kansas City, Independence, Gladstone and Grandview have taken this important step in protecting our youth.Nearly 95 percent of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21. This time period is when the brain is fully developing, including the parts responsible for decision making, impulse control, sensation seeking, and susceptibility to peer pressure. Research shows that raising the legal minimum age for sale of all tobacco and nicotine products to age 21 could reduce overall smoking rates and decrease smoking initiation among youth. In time, smoking prevalence could be significantly lower in our schools, workforce, and community.
As a community we should be doing all we can to prevent our children from a lifelong deadly addiction to tobacco use. Please vote YES on the St. Louis County Tobacco 21 ordinance and raise the age of sale for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 years old to 21.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]