May 4, 2018
SPECIAL EDITION: Day at the Capitol 2018
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania hosted more than 500 lung health advocates, including youth, from across Pennsylvania to rally for Pennsylvania lawmakers to take action now and raise the minimum sales age for all tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – to 21 at the Main Capitol in Harrisburg. In addition, advocates urged support for sustaining Master Settlement Agreement funds to support lifesaving tobacco cessation and prevention programs and services throughout the commonwealth. At the event press conference, State Sen. Mario Scavello and Rep. Thomas Murt both committed to working together to introduce Tobacco 21 legislation, with the hope of having the legislation pass by this time next year.
More than 300 students from the TRU (Tobacco Resistance Unit) joined adult advocates in Harrisburg to enlist support for their efforts to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21. TRU is a movement throughout all of Pennsylvania to help youth, between ages 12 and 18, stay tobacco- and nicotine-free, and aims to prevent and stop youth tobacco use through education. A statewide movement, TRU is managed by the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco (PACT) and the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania.
The event also took place on World Asthma Day. Rep. Robert Matzie passed a resolution recognizing May 1, 2018 as “World Asthma Day” in Pennsylvania!
Please enjoy this short video of the 2018 Day at the Capitol in Pennsylvania!
GoErie.com reports on e-cigarette use among teens in Erie County. Use among Erie County teens has increased significantly in recent years, even though federal law prevents the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18. About one in six students in the county — 16.6 percent — vaped at least once in the past 30 days, according to the 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Risk Behavior Survey. It’s an increase from 16 percent in the 2015 survey, the first survey that included vaping statistics. Nationally, e-cigarette use rose from 1.5 percent to 11.7 percent among high school students and from 0.6 percent to 3.3 percent among middle school students from 2011 to 2017, the Food and Drug Administration reported recently.
Special Edition: PACT Advocacy Priorities 2019
The Wolf Administration is urging teens and their parents, educators and health care providers to be aware of the dangers of vaping or using e-cigarettes as the number of teens using this method of smoking is increasing across the nation. “Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug that can harm brain development, which continues until about age 25,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to go on to use regular cigarettes. If you have a problem with vaping, there are resources available to help you.” The FDA, last month, declared the use of e-cigarettes among teens an “epidemic” and is taking steps to stop youth access to tobacco products. At the same time, the U.S. Surgeon General determined that e-cigarette use among youth and young adults is a public health concern.