Why Tobacco Is The Leading Cause Of Preventable Death

1963 Words8 Pages
Josh Seefeld


The Institute of Medicine found that children, who are born between 2000 and 2019, would suffer 249,000 fewer premature deaths and 45,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, when the legal age to purchase tobacco is increased from 18 to 21 years old (atg.wa.gov 2016). Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S, which causes many chronic health complications such as heart disease, cancer, and lung disease (atg.wa.gov 2016). Raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in Washington state will decrease the use later in adult life specifically, ages 15 to 17 who are targeted the most through tobacco companies due to their vulnerability and gives loyalty to a specific tobacco company from the addiction of nicotine. Needham, Massachusetts campaigned to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 in 2005 and won. Results are already compelling, showing that between 2006 and 2012 Needham’s high school smoking rate dropped more than half among girls and boys (atg.wa.gov 2016). Given that nicotine can be such an addictive drug and be seen to be used as a coping mechanism, specifically ages 15 to 17 through their developing stages of life, needs to encounter harder access to get their hands on tobacco products. According to the Center of Disease Control, one in 13 Americans age 17 or younger alive today are estimated to die prematurely due to the effects of smoking (atg.wa.gov 2016). Raising the legal age to
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