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Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress

Maine is another success story for Tobacco 21 enacting a statewide law to raise the sales age to 21 on July 1, 2018!

After Portland boldly became the first city to adopt Tobacco 21 in 2016, the state legislature took notice and introduced their own bill, which passed in 2017 and was subsequently signed into law. The council members and advocates in Portland deserve praise for their initiative in introducing Tobacco 21 to the state.

Maine’s high school and adult smoking rates are currently higher than the national rates comparatively. There are an estimated 27,000 children now under the age of 18 who will eventually die prematurely due to smoking. There are currently 600 children becoming daily smokers each year. The result is an annual health care cost of $811 million that is directly caused by smoking, and another $647 million in lost productivity. The state spends 42.5% of the CDC recommended amount of tobacco prevention, and has a $2.00 tax per pack. This coupled with the new Tobacco 21 law, should cause rates to decline in the near future.

Recent Updates

  • 8/2/2017 – Maine is the 4th state to raise the sales age to 21! Read more here

  • 6/20/2016 – Portland becomes first city in Maine to adopt Tobacco 21

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Maine In The News

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For More Information, Please Contact:

  • Kevin O’Flaherty
  • Tobacco Free Kids
  • Played a direct role in shaping NYC’s historic T21 legislation.
    Director Northeastern Region
  • KOflaherty@Tobaccofreekids.Org

Other Helpful Resources:

Tobacco Free Kids Maine

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 Maine

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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