Pros And Cons Of Tobacco Products

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Pros and Cons: Raising Minimum Age to Purchase Tobacco Products

Background:

In the 2018 session of the Indiana General Assembly, Representative Charlie Brown introduced House Bill 1380 which would have made Indiana the sixth state to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21. The Indiana House passed the bill out of committee, but the house leadership decided to study the issue next summer before voting. The pros and cons of House Bill 1380 are listed below.

Pros
• Raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products would save lives. Tobacco products are the number one cause of preventable illness and deaths in the United States (Carr, 2016). In addition, nearly 9 out of 10 people who currently smoke started their habit before age 18. Currently 151,000 Hoosier children under the age of 18 will die younger because they participate in smoking cigarettes (Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission, 2017). Increasing the age to buy tobacco products to age 21 would stop many people from starting to smoke tobacco products as a result of the legal barrier, and in turn would save the lives of many future adults (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

• If the age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products were raised, businesses would be able to recoup lost revenues in productivity and health care costs. Employers across Indiana lose a total of $3.2 billion a year in lost productivity (Indiana Tobacco Quitline,

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