Tucson Looks To Raise Purchase Age Of Nicotine-Related Products To 21

Published: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 12:24pm
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2019 - 9:13am
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On Thursday, the Tucson City Council will hold a study session on a proposed ordinance to raise the age to purchase nicotine-related products to 21. It’s an effort to curb e-cigarette use among teenagers.

A biennial survey of Arizona teens shows vaping is on the rise while cigarette use continues to decline. Arizona State University researchers who conduct the Arizona Youth Survey said more than a quarter of eighth-graders have tried e-cigarettes, while one in 10 had vaped in the past 30 days. 

Those numbers increase as teens get older. The survey found half of 12th graders have tried vaping while 3 in 10 used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. 

“At the same time we’re seeing a reduction in normal tobacco use or regular tobacco combustible cigarettes," said Dustin Pardini, an ASU criminology professor. "But we’re far outpacing that decline with the increase that we’re seeing in e-cigarette use.”

Pardini said past campaigns to reduce teenage tobacco use were successful, but he pointed out that nothing is being done to reduce teenage vaping. 

“There is just not a lot being done, state or across the nation in terms of the advertising campaigns we saw to get people to stop smoking and the regulations and we’re lagging behind and playing catch up at this point," he said. 

The Tucson City Council will hold a study group to determine whether to move ahead and put age restrictions in place for vaping. This comes after the Pima County Board of Supervisors rejected a similar effort. Todd Jaeger, superintendent of Tucson’s Amphitheater School District, wants action on the issue.

The Show with him and asked for specifics on what he’s seeing from his students when it comes to vaping.

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