California Medical Association Votes to Support Raising Minimum Smoking Age to 21
The California Medical Association voted yesterday to support raising the state's minimum smoking age from 18 to 21, the AP/Fresno Bee reports (AP/Fresno Bee, 2/25). The resolution directs the CMA's lobbyists to support any legislation that would change the legal age to buy, possess or receive tobacco products or paraphernalia. There currently is no such measure before the Legislature (California Healthline, 2/21). CMA also voted to support "increased fines and enforcement efforts" to protect minors from exposure to tobacco products. The legal age to buy tobacco products is 18 in 47 states; three states have a legal age of 19. The American Lung Association does not support raising the smoking age, saying that "efforts would be better spent enforcing current laws." But Dr. Leonard Klay, the proposal's sponsor, said, "We know that people who start smoking at a young age, especially, become addicted to deadly nicotine. My hope is that a higher age would help prevent some of these horrible smoking deaths people suffer" (AP/Fresno Bee, 2/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.