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I Support Tobacco 21!
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a resident of Onondaga County, I urge you to sign legislation to raise the age for the legal sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21, with no exemptions. Tobacco 21 is a promising strategy to help reduce smoking rates. The use of tobacco products remains the nation's number one cause of preventable death. Sadly, 95 percent of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21 and nearly 100 percent started by age 26.
However, recent evidence shows raising the legal age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 can put a serious dent in smoking rates. A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), The Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products, reviewed existing literature on tobacco use initiation, developmental biology and psychology, and tobacco policy. The IOM report predicts that raising the national minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 will likely lead to a 12 percent reduction in smoking prevalence.
To date, eight NY counties and all of New York City have enacted Tobacco 21 laws. I urge Onondaga County to put the health of residents first by increasing the age of sale for tobacco products to 21.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]