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Tennessee Makes Under 21 Tobacco Sales Illegal In 2021

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tennessee Makes Under 21 Tobacco Sales Illegal In 2021

Tennessee will make it illegal to sell or distribute all tobacco products, electronic cigarette products or smoking hemp to anyone under the age of 21 at the start of 2021.

Cumberland County Rising Executive Director Holly Kisly said with Tennessee teens doubling their vape use over the last two years, this law change meets the goal of protecting developing brains. She said it also addresses the idea kids have about vaping being a safer option.

“Teens today know the harm of nicotine, but don’t associate it with a Juul or a Vuse, for example,” Kisly said. “They just think that going in, it’s benign and I think this law underscores and supports that it’s not.”

Kisly said companies in the nicotine business target teenagers. She said these companies need kids to start using their products to protect their customer base.

“30 years ago, an RJ Reynolds company executive wrote if a man has never smoked by age 18, the odds are 3:1 that he never will. By the age of 24, the odds are 20:1,” Kisly said. “We know that these companies are targeting our youth, because they need to have consumers in the future.”

Kisly said pushing the age limit back helps reduce access to nicotine products. She said a majority of kids are introduced to these by older siblings or peers.

“Really look at how they’re influencing their younger brothers and sisters, their younger cousins, their younger family members and the people in the community,” Kisly said. “Add their voice to this, explain to them why, if they did make those choices, how those choices affected their lives.”

Kisly said over 50 percent of students self-report that they vape on a regular basis, and 10 percent say they tried it before age 13. She said nine out of ten adults who smoke daily, say they tried nicotine before age 18.

Starting in January of 2021, it will be illegal to purchase on behalf of someone younger than 21. In 2019, President Trump signed legislation raising the federal tobacco sale age from 18 to 21.



The post Tennessee Makes Under 21 Tobacco Sales Illegal In 2021 appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.