CDC Reports Most American Adults Favor Raising Minimum Age for Tobacco Sales

The article, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, says three out of four adults favor raising the age to 21.

A new article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says three out of four American adults favor raising the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21. This number includes seven in 10 cigarette smokers. In most states, the minimum age to purchase a tobacco product is 18; Hawaii is the only state with a minimum age of 21.

"Raising the minimum age of sale to 21 could benefit the health of Americans in several ways," said Brian King, Ph.D., acting Deputy Director for Research Translation in CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "It could delay the age of first experimenting with tobacco, reducing the likelihood of transitioning to regular use and increasing the likelihood that those who do become regular users can quit."

People who begin smoking at a young age are more likely to become addicted, to progress to daily use, to smoke more as they grow into adulthood, and to have trouble quitting.

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