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Assemblymember Introduces Bill to Raise Minimum Smoking Age from 18 to 21

July 23, 2015

On July 16, Assemblyman Jim Wood DDS introduced legislation that would raise California’s legal minimum smoking age from 18 to 21. ABX 8-2 will be part of the legislature’s 2nd extraordinary session tasked with funding California’s sorely underfunded healthcare system plain and simple.

“Tobacco use costs Californian’s an estimated $18.1 billion every year. 90% of adult smokers start smoking before the age of 21,” said Wood. “If we can cut tobacco use we can save money – it is as simple as that. We must find a way to adequately fund healthcare in this state, part of that is cutting costs. This is a good financial decision and one that will lead to a healthier California, plain and simple.”

Last year, as the mayor of Healdsburg, Dr. Wood worked to pass a similar measure making Healdsburg the first city in California to make selling tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 illegal. Cities across the nation have taken this step and Hawaii is now the first state to have passed legislation increasing the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

Dr. Wood said, “California has an opportunity to positively influence public health and reduce medical costs by adopting this policy. Whatever we can do to keep young people from becoming addicted, should be done. Raising the legal age is a compelling strategy to reduce the number of young people who are introduced to tobacco products by friends and co-workers. As Californians, we are proud of our tradition of leading the rest of the country and Hawaii has already beaten us to the punch on this one. It is time for us to get this done.”

Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.

Source:  Office of Assemblymember Jim Wood

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