Iowa

Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress
1/20/2017 – SF5 referred to Senate Subcommittee on Government (Senators Feenstra, Chapman, & Peterson)
1/9/2017 – Senator Herman Quirmbach introduces Senate Bill 5, the bill is a second attempt and would raise the minimum legal sales age of all tobacco products to 21.
1/13/2016 – Senator Herman Quirmbach introduces Tobacco 21 bill, Senate Bill 2016

Iowa is another state where Tobacco 21 is being considered at the statewide level. While it awaits a decision, 1,500 children become daily smokers each year, and an estimated 55,000 children now under the age of 18 will eventually die early due to smoking. Iowa has a well above national average rate of high school smoking and a near national average rate of adult smoking. The rate of high school smoking is nearly identical to the rate of adult smoking (18.1%), which suggests that progress has stalled in tobacco prevention. The result is an annual health care cost of $1.28 billion that is directly caused by smoking, and another $1.21 billion in lost productivity. The state spends only 20.8% of the CDC recommended amount on smoking prevention, and has recently decreased funding from 2016 to 2017.

Iowa state law also preempts local governments from passing their own youth access regulations. But this does not mean local government can’t play an important role. A good example is Washington State, which is also preempted locally concerning Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) increases. In Washington, city councils and local boards of health have passed resolutions in support of the statewide law under consideration by the legislature. Resolutions cost nothing, but clearly help fuel momentum toward better protection for your kids. Please consider calling your local board of health, city council member, or county commissioner. Your voice is very important to legislators considering Tobacco 21 laws, all it takes is one or two phone calls or emails to support the movement to raise the age.

For more information you may contact:

April Seliga
Eastern Region Director
Tobacco 21
April.Seliga@Tobacco21.org

Jodi Radke
Director, Rocky Mountain / Great Plains Region
Tobacco Free Kids
JRadke@Tobaccofreekids.Org

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Iowa: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card: “The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Iowa: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”


The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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