Truth Initiative backs T21

“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!

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October 23, 2017