Congratulations to Oregon!
Oregon is set to become the third state in the nation to increase the Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA). The policy will cover over 4 million Oregonians and help to protect youth from nicotine addiction, leading to less tobacco-related illness and death.
This political process was not without contention. Various special interest groups, including Altria, attempted to derail efforts throughout the legislative session. However, the Tobacco 21 for Oregon coalition weathered these attacks with poise and made it evident to lawmakers that the policy change is a strong move for Oregon. Congratulations to all involved in the process to better protect Oregonians from the influence of the tobacco industry.
News spreads quickly.
Almost immediately, many news sources picked up on the story from Oregon. In this case, the Charleston Gazette-Mail wrote an editorial. The press release urges West Virginia lawmakers to consider the vast benefits from enacting a MLSA increase to 21.
Also in the editorial, the author highlighted West Virginia’s failure to act on this important legislation.
“For the health of West Virginians, we hope conscientious lawmakers keep bringing up this issue. If the shortened lives of today’s kids aren’t a motivation to discourage their forming an addiction, perhaps people would like to save some of the $277 million in smoking-related Medicaid costs, or the billion in other health costs, or the lost productivity. Any reason will do.”
We at the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and Tobacco 21 continue to work on these life-saving policies across the United States. We applaud all of those involved in Tobacco 21 efforts. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page.