Tobacco 21 in Congress


Tobacco 21 Goes Federal!

tobacco21reedOn Septemper 29, 2015 Senator Brian Schatz [D-HI] and 9 co-sponsors introduced the first Federal level bill to raise the Tobacco age to 21 nationwide.  This is both an important public health milestone and a resolute message to Tobacco companies that there are indeed congress members who will work to undo the incredible burden that Big Tobacco’s products have insidiously forced upon our nation. In a year in which dozens of cities passed Tobacco 21, the first state passed Tobacco 21, countless public health groups endorsed the measure, and public support soared to 75%, it is fitting that Tobacco 21 takes center stage at the national level for a moment.

For decades Tobacco use has been the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, despite public awareness of its deleterious nature. Every year around 500,000 U.S. citizens die from tobacco use, which is more than the U.S. casualties in World War II. This may even underestimate the numbers, as every year more causes of death are found to be attributable to tobacco. Tobacco use also robs our economy of an estimated $289 to $332.5 billion a year.  And while government struggles through red tape and misinformation to regulate the abundance of products that already exist, tobacco companies release scores of new products meant to attract the younger generations to a lifetime tobacco21schatzof addiction, as well as convolute the process of regulation. In fact, 700 U.S. kids become daily smokers every single day.  Tobacco 21, instead, is an easy to understand enforce umbrella law that encompasses all tobacco products. Easy to understand, easy to enforce, and with virtually no costs to taxpayers, Tobacco 21 is the next logical step in our prevention efforts.

As Schatz explains ““This year, Hawai‘i became the first state in the nation to raise the minimum smoking age to 21. It was an historic public health achievement that we should adopt nationwide. By raising the minimum tobacco age of sale to 21 across the country, we can cut the number of new smokers each year; build a healthier, tobacco free America; and save lives.”



Brian Schatz’s Page – Senators Schatz, Durbin, Brown, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Raise Smoking Age to 21

Tobacco Free Kids – Health Groups Support Bills in Congress to Raise Tobacco Sales Age to 21 Nationwide

U.S. News – National Tobacco Age 21? 10 Senators Seek to Treat Cigarettes Like Alcohol

Boston Herald – US Sens. Warren, Markey back bill to hike smoking age to 21

NYSE Post – Blumenthal introducing bill to raise legal smoking age


Senate Bill 2100 – The Senate Bill to raise the Tobacco age to 21

Schatz, Brian [D-HI] – Author
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Durbin, Richard [D-IL]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Hirono, Mazie [D-HI]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Markey, Edward “Ed” [D-MA]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Reed, John “Jack” [D-RI]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)
Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]
(joined Sep 29, 2015)

House Bill 3656 – The House Bill to raise the Tobacco age to 21

Diana DeGette [D-CO]
(joined Sep 30, 2015)
Mark Takai [D-HI]
(joined Sep 30, 2015)


The American Heart Association
The American Lung Association
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Academy of Pediatrics
Academic Pediatric Association
American Pediatric Society
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Veterans (AMVETS)
American Public Health Association
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Trust for America’s Health
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
First Focus Campaign for Children
Pediatric Policy Council
Society for Pediatric Research
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment
Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)
Hawai‘i Medical Service Association
Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i.