SUPPORT SB 895, the Tobacco 21 bill and vote FAVORABLY with amendments to remove the military exemption
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent, I am asking you to vote FAVORABLY with amendments to remove the military exemption from the Tobacco 21 Senate Cross-file (SB 895) and conform the bill to match the House Cross-file (HB 1169). While it is true that young men and women can join the military at age 18, it's flawed logic to argue that you should be old enough to smoke if you're old enough to fight for your country. About 95 percent of smokers start before age 21 and 36-40 percent of military smokers say they started using tobacco after joining up. Tobacco use reduces physical fitness and endurance, which compromises combat readiness. Additionally, the Department of Defense spends more than $1.6 billion annually on tobacco-related medical care, hospitalizations and lost work days. The military smokes at even higher rates than the general population. The Department of Defense estimates that 175,000 active service members will die from smoking-related causes unless they beat their addiction. This is bad for military preparedness and that's why the Department of Defense and the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force each have set goals to become tobacco-free.Young service members might have pledged to die to protect our freedom, but that death shouldn't come from tobacco addiction. The best way to thank them for their service is to prevent them from ever starting to use tobacco. Giving them a better chance for a healthy life is a better reward than preserving their ability to smoke.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]