Extinguishing the tobacco epidemic in California
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      CALIFORNIA KEY FACTS In 2015, 27.4% of California high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among California high school youth, 7.7% reported currently smoking cigarettes. PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE TO TOBACCO USE IN CALIFORNIA Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults; in addition, it increases risks for sudden infant death syndrome, middle-ear disease, respiratory symptoms, and slows lung growth in children. In 2016, California enacted multiple tobacco control laws as part of a special legislative session in the state. The new laws: closed loopholes in the state’s smoke-free law making hotel lobbies, small businesses, and break rooms smoke-free; defined e-cigarettes as a tobacco product; prohibited vaping wherever smoking is also not allowed; required all K-12 public schools to be tobacco free; raised tobacco retail licensure fees; and increased the legal age of sale of tobacco from 18 to 21. These policies will further protect youth and adults in California from secondhand smoke exposure and e-cigarette vapor in public places. Increasing the age of sales for tobacco to 21 and requiring all public schools to be tobacco-free will protect youth from exposure to these products and further change social norms in California about the acceptability of smoking. The Institute of Medicine projects that if the age of sale were raised now to 21 nationwide, then “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. For more information on tobacco prevention and control, visit cdc.gov/tobacco.
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