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First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home Solutions Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths Support Tobacco21

Tobacco 21

First Year Cleveland priorities include decreasing extreme prematurity and eliminating sleep-related deaths. That's why we support Tobacco 21.


Tobacco is deadly. According to numbers from national health institutions, tobacco is responsible for one in five deaths in the US. Smoking during pregnancy is also a leading cause for infant deaths, putting babies at high risk for prematurity and sleep-related deaths.

In October 2019, a new law went into effect that raises the age to buy tobacco to 21.

Raising the smoking age was driven by research showing that people are less likely to become addicted to nicotine if they haven’t started smoking by the time they’ve turned 21.

“Research indicates that approximately 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in a news release. “Increasing the age to 21 will reduce the chances of our young people starting to smoke and becoming regular smokers.”

State officials cite data from the Institute of Medicine that raising the age from 18 to 21 will prevent or delay use, particularly in people ages 15 to 17.

Lower smoking rates lead to better health outcomes, especially for pregnant women and infants. Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies, which makes babies weaker and increases the risk for many health problems. Children who live in homes where smoking is allowed have higher levels of cotinine (a biological marker of secondhand smoke exposure) than children who live in homes where smoking is not allowed. This can lead to numerous health problems, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).


Resources

Tobacco 21 
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Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids 
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