April 18, 2019

Young and Schatz Issue Joint Statement on Raising Legal Tobacco Age to 21

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) today released a joint statement regarding their continued work on legislation raising the legal tobacco age to 21 and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he will prioritize this issue.

“After carefully studying this issue and seeking input from health experts and parents in our states, it is clear that there is bipartisan support for raising the legal tobacco age to 21. National data shows that 90 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before age 21 and the CDC estimates that approximately 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of some type of tobacco product last year. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use increased by 78 percent among high school students and by 48 percent among middle school students. This is quickly becoming a national epidemic, and we have an obligation to act. We look forward to working with Majority Leader McConnell and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the health and safety of our children.”

The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Veterans (AMVETS), Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all expressed support for raising the legal tobacco age to 21.