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Here’s a reminder. The federal law has changed and everyone who buys tobacco must be 21 years old. The law was changed to help protect youth from an addiction that prematurely kills many thousands of Americans each year. I am one of the lucky ones. I quit smoking several years ago. I realized how smoking affected my skin, hair and the way I smelled. I hated smelling like a cigarette butt, so I QUIT!
This new law could help prevent young people from even starting. It’s already paying dividends, according to a new study on the Tobacco 21 policy. It found that Tobacco 21 exposure was associated with lower odds of multiple forms of tobacco use, particularly among younger adolescent populations. It’s more evidence that this policy can and will save lives! It also couldn’t have come at a better time, considering that the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that more than 2 million youths currently use flavored e-cigs with one-fourth using them daily.
In order for this trend to change and for this law to be more effective we need everyone to know it and follow it. Retailers in Milwaukee are supporting that effort by joining the state’s Tobacco 21 media campaign. Be on the lookout for gas pump advertising and outdoor posters that feature a simple but important message: Now everyone who buys tobacco must be 21. In addition, the Wisconsin Wins program is supporting retailers by providing free training tips on how to check IDs.
Together, we can make a difference by following Tobacco 21 laws and helping to educate youths on the dangers of tobacco use. To learn more about the Wisconsin Wins program or Tobacco 21 visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.For free help to quit using tobacco call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Co-Chair of the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network’s Smoke-Free Housing Subcommittee