Youth rally for higher tobacco minimum age

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Hundreds of young people will rally Tuesday at the state Capitol, urging lawmakers to raise the age of buying tobacco from 18 to 21.

The rally and news conference will take place in Soldiers Grove at noon. 

Youth advocates will join adults to promote the Tobacco 21 movement. The movement calls for policy change to raise the minimum sales age of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Twelve states and many other communities have already enacted this change.

Hundreds of youth gathering for the rally are part of the Tobacco Resistance Unit. TRU is a statewide movement to help youth ages 12 to 18 stay tobacco-free through education. The movement is managed by the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco and the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania. 

Some say Pennsylvania’s funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs are lacking. According to the American Lung Association, the governor’s budget is under $17 million. That’s less than an eighth of the recommended budget of $140 million a year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

For more information about the Tobacco 21 Movement, click here

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