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Tobacco Free Fact Sheet
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than
480,000 people each year.2 It is known to cause cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases, among
other health disorders, and costs the U.S. as much as $170 billion in health care expenditures each year.3
Each day, 350 kids under the age of 18 become regular, daily smokers; and almost one-third will eventually die from smoking.4 If current trends continue, 5.6 million of today’s youth will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.5
High tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws and comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs are proven strategies to reduce tobacco use and save lives. Increasing the minimum legal sale age (MLSA) for tobacco products to 21 complements these approaches to reduce youth tobacco use and to help users quit.