“Truth Initiative® strongly supports raising the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21 as part of a strong tobacco control policy program.”
Truth® is one of the most prevalent tobacco control groups in the United States. Established in 1999, Truth® takes a unique stance on the tobacco use epidemic by focusing on media influence among youth and young adults. We are happy to see their fervent support of tobacco 21 policies. In their statement, published on truthinitiative.org, they point out many important justifications behind raising the minimum legal sales age.
A system of policies
T21 must have companion policies to work effectively. This point is very important; no one law can solve the pervasiveness of tobacco use. Tobacco is present in our day-to-day lives through many different avenues. Media influence in movies and TV shows, point of sale (POS) advertising and now e-cigarette advertising all contribute to this presence.
Truth® notes that many different angles are effective at strengthening the system of tobacco control policies, especially among localities. Price control, POS advertising restrictions, smoke free environments, and media campaigns are all useful tools. Additionally, Truth® stresses the importance of placing the onus of responsibility on the retailer rather than buyer.
Enforcement that works
While Truth’s support document points towards many concepts related to Tobacco Retail Licensing, they do not offer this as a suggestion for local innovation. At the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, we believe heavily in the importance of TRL, especially at the local level. A TRL can be easily amended to include important provisions such as flavor bans, retailer distance requirements, and compliance checks. Licensing is a powerful tool for localities to improve the effectiveness of their youth access laws. Check out our Enforcement Memo for more information on retail licensing of tobacco products in your city or town.
Make sure to visit the Truth Initiative’s website and check out the great resources they have to offer for your tobacco prevention efforts!
A project of The Vermont Journalism Trust, VTdigger.org, published a commentary on Tobacco 21 last week. The commentary is in favor of raising the MLSA and highlights a number of reasons (21) to implement this life-saving policy.
A doctor’s point of view
Dr. Nevin Zablotsky, a retired periodontist, writes from an educated point of view on tobacco’s harmful effects. As a dentist who specializes in prevention and a senior consultant on tobacco issues for a dental school, Dr. Zablotsky’s commentary holds much weight in this discussion.
Thank you to Dr. Zablotsky for using this stage to hold the legislature accountable and shine a light on Tobacco 21. Read more below on these 21 reasons to pass Tobacco 21, not only in Vermont, but across the country!
Cook County Department of Public Health has created a webpage for their Tobacco 21 initiatives. They highlight the benefits of raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age and provide other useful resources. CCDPH created a useful factsheet, multiple social media posts, and a creative infographic to use in your local T21 efforts, whether they are in Cook County or another locality.
Informing the larger Public Health movement
The Cook County Department of Public Health is also promoting their Healthy HotSpot initiative. Healthy HotSpot is a community partnership between CCDPH and multiple organizational partners. Healthy HotSpot includes natural areas, schools, local businesses, faith based communities, healthcare providers, and more.
A useful map has been created to show what areas in Cook County are included in these different categories of the Healthy HotSpot initiative. Many of the categories include tobacco control measures, focusing on smoke-free areas and increasing the minimum legal sales age.
This webpage is a valuable resource for advocates looking to expand the impact of T21 in Cook County and beyond. Currently, there are 4 localities in Cook County that have passed a T21 ordinance. Check out our locality list to see what communities in your state have raised the sales age.
We urge everyone to take a look at the CCDPH’s great work at the link below!
Dr. Robert Proctor, professor at Stanford and author of Golden Holocaust, has been using history’s lessons for many years to further public health. Golden Holocaust highlights the tobacco industry’s creation and manipulation of the cigarette to make it “the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization”. Proctor’s research and work centers around the idea of prevention, one that we think is very worthwhile. His skill to describe the invasiveness of tobacco on human health through history is a powerful tool. We all know tobacco use is bad; Dr. Proctor helps us understand how it continues to be the number one preventable cause of death in the United States, let alone the world.
Check out the Stanford Medicine SCOPE blog post with Dr. Proctor’s interview below.
Since Edina, MN passed their sales age increase back in May, there has been an uprising interest around the state. We have seen MLSA policies spread similarly to this in many states, Massachusetts, Kansas, and California to name a few. This shift in interest sets a promising tone for increased local and statewide efforts.
Learn some insight about Tobacco 21’s history and opposition
The MinnPost article shared below offers a closer look at the history of both our organization and the tobacco 21 movement. Our Foundation President, Dr. Rob Crane is highlighted in this story.
Thank you to the MinnPost for an in-depth look at Tobacco 21 in Minnesota!
Please check out the article below for the full story and see our toolkit page to find out how you can start a local movement in your town!