ADA Supports Legislation Calling for Raising Legal Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco

The ADA May 23 announced its support for a new bill that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

In a letter to Sen. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Tim Kaine, the ADA praised the lawmakers for introducing S 1541, the Tobacco-Free Youth Act.

“Preventing oral cancer and other tobacco-related diseases has been a longstanding priority for the ADA,” wrote ADA President Jeffrey M. Cole and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin. “About 9 out of 10 people who die from oral and pharyngeal cancers use tobacco, and the risk of developing these cancers is related to how much (and how often) they use. On average, 40 percent of those with the disease will not survive more than 5 years.  Tobacco products are also causally associated with higher rates of gum disease, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions, bone damage, tooth loss, jaw bone loss and more.

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