By Nyesha Stone
According to the Toll of Tobacco in Wisconsin, 2,220 kids (under 18) per day are new smokers. It also found that nearly 95 percent of smokers start before they turn 21. The long-term effects of smoking tobacco are no secret, yet our kids keep smoking.
Recently, Bill SB 364 was created so that individuals under 21 years of age can’t buy tobacco.
“Tobacco 21 legislation is a key strategy to reduce this alarming rate, since 18-year-old seniors are often a supply source for their younger classmates,” said Nicole Hudzinski, government relations director at the American Heart Association in a press release
The American Heart Association, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, UW Health and other health groups applauded this bill and have shown it their support.
If this bill passes, Dr. Sarang Baman, chair of the American Heart Association’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee, said it could eventually lead to a generation of no tobacco smokers.
“If this bill passed, we’ll be making a big step towards in preventing many diseases,” said Baman.
He also added that we’d be improving our economy. Just in Wisconsin alone, smoking effects is costing us $3 billion.
Dr. Baman suggests contacting your local legislators to let them know you are in this support of this bill.