Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress
3/23/2017 – Bill 9-34 becomes law in Guam, making the territory’s Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) 21 years old for all tobacco products.
3/9/2017 – Bill 9-34 passes legislature 15-0, onto the Governor’s desk
2/27/2017 – Bill 9-34 voted out of Committee; Do Pass
1/24/2017 – Bill 9-34 referred to Appropriations & Adjudication Committee
1/11/2017 – Bill 9-34 introduced by Speaker Benjamin Cruz, would raise minimum legal sales age for all tobacco products to 21 in Guam.
6/17/2016 – Bill 141-33 passes legislature 9-6, onto the Governor’s desk (refused to sign)
7/6/2015 – Bill 141-33 introduced in Guam by Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, would raise tobacco age to 21 in Guam

Guam’s Tobacco 21 initiative started in July of 2015 with the introduction of Bill 141-33. Nearly a year later the bill passed the legislature by a 9-6 margin. As it awaited the Governor’s signature to become law, news came of his refusal to sign in 2016. The current bill in 2017 is again sponsored by Benjamin F. Cruz, the speaker of Guam’s legislature. Speaker Cruz had previously backed bills to eliminate coupon and promotional deals for tobacco, to raise cigarette and cigar taxes, and to raise smokeless tobacco taxes to be equal to that of cigarettes. He and his staff deserve praise for their bold actions in the fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction.

Bill 9-34, the bill to raise the tobacco and nicotine age to 21 in Guam

In the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System report (2015), Guam youth had a current smoking rate of 20.2%, the highest of any state or U.S. territory surveyed. This was coupled with a smokeless tobacco rate of 15.2%, which is the second highest rate of any state or territory surveyed. Unfortunately, overall tobacco use was not measured. Additionally, public health advocates in the area report use of e-cigarettes among youth is rising in Guam, as it is with the rest of the country. Guam does have a $3.00 tax on cigarettes and passed the Natasha Act in 2005, prohibiting smoking in most workplaces. We are sure that these rates will decrease in the coming years, now that the MLSA is 21 in the territory.

For more information, you may contact:

Eric Brodell
Western Region Director
Tobacco 21

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

We welcome your comments and suggestions: Contact Us