In 2005 Needham, the suburb of Boston, in its attempt to reduce tobacco use among youth decided to increase the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. The measure resulted in significant tobacco use drop among high school students. It was a two times decline and this was a greatest result compared to surrounding suburbs.
Needham with its greatest resluts in fighting smoking became an example for other cities in the country to follow. These days over 50 communities in seven US states have increased their tobacco sales age to 21. For example, in 2014 the New York City raised tobacco buying age.
The trend is gradually spreading across the USA and at the moment nearly10 state legislatures are now considering adopting laws raising to 21 the legal age to buy tobacco. Recently, Institute of Medicine that makes part of the National Academy of Sciences, released a report which reveals that raising tobacco buying age to 21 is very beneficial. Why? Because data shows that most current smokers started using tobacco before age 21 and they quickly became addicted.
It was found that 1 in 4 high school students is a tobacco user and youth tobacco rates cost too much the American economy. 80% of people who started smoking in their youth would smoke in their adulthood and 50% of them would die from a smoking related disease.
The researchers say that the older the man is the less likely he is to start smoking. Despite the fact that the tobacco industry is especially targeting young people, if the teen did not pick up the habit in an early age it is less likely he would start smoking in an adult age.
It is well known fact that young people aged 18 buy cigarettes and give them to even younger teens. Raising legal age to 21 would make it harder for teens to access tobacco, therefore the measure is needed.