Tobacco 21

The Tobacco 21 workgroup was created in September 2016 as an offshoot of the Tobacco Action Coalition of Onondaga County (TACO), and presented its first petition to the County legislature in November of the same year to encourage elected officials, community organizations, corporate decision makers and community members in Onondaga County to decrease the social acceptability and reduce the burden of tobacco usage in our community. Members include: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Heart Association, St. Joseph’s Health, Upstate Medical University, Tobacco Free Network of CNY, New York State Department of Health and Community Advocates.

On January 1, 2018 Onondaga County officially adopted a Tobacco 21 policy prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

The Facts

  • 20 percent of adults in Onondaga County smoke cigarettes (CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)
  • 45 percent of tobacco users in our County are young adults, ages 18 to 24 (Community Tobacco Survey)
  • 7,600 kids become new daily smokers every year in New York State
  • Nearly 95 percent of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21 (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)

The Institute of Medicine predicts that if the age of sale for tobacco is raised to 21 nationwide, there would be approximately:

  • 223,000 fewer premature deaths,
  • 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer,
  • And 4.2 million fewer years of life lost for those born between 2000 and 2019.

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