Tobacco 21 Rules Taking Hold in Kansas City 

Communities in the metro area surrounding Kansas City are hopping on the bandwagon when it comes to raising the legal smoking age to 21.

Although the project was announced in October 2015, approximately half of the 30 cities in the region have already adopted the law. With the age at which it is legal to buy tobacco products being raised, it’s believed that a significantly smaller portion of the population will adopt the habit.

Tobacco Age Raised in Kansas City

The Beginning of a Movement

The campaign to raise the tobacco age to 21 began in October when several community leaders, public health advocates, businesses, and organizations came together to lead the charge. This includes the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, who combined with other businesses and public health organizations to form the Healthy KC coalition.

They decided that a successful, progressive city must have a healthy citizenry. That meant taking steps to limit tobacco use.

A Joint Effort

Many health care organizations threw their support behind the effort to lower the number of people using tobacco in the area. However, observers believe the reason that this campaign has succeeded so quickly is that business leaders have gotten on board too. When shown statistics that demonstrated that workers who don’t use tobacco are not as prone to serious health issues, business leaders quickly got behind the effort.

Tobacco Statistics

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which is based in Washington, D.C., notes that 95% of smokers begin the habit before reaching 21. In fact, 90% of adult smokers pick up a tobacco habit before the age of 18. Approximately one-third of smokers die from a disease caused by tobacco. However, if people are forced to wait until they are 21 to legally buy tobacco products, it is estimated that the number of teen smokers will drop by 12%.

A Growing Campaign

The formula being used in Kansas City can easily translate elsewhere. Raising the legal age to buy tobacco products may be the key to ending smoking for good.

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