It’s official. Effective immediately, the tobacco industry is pulling every single cigarette off the shelf until they can make a cigarette that poses no health risks for the American public. You heard it right here. Ok, so it’s not such a funny April Fool’s joke. Until the tobacco industry is held responsible for the lies they have told for decades, here are some facts to ponder:
– Nearly all tobacco use begins in childhood and teen years.
– Each day in the U.S. more than 3,800 kids under 18 smoke their first cigarette.
– In Florida, 21,300 kids under 18 become new daily smokers each year.
– 24.3 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by kids in Florida each year.
– 369,000 kids now under 18 and alive in Florida who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
– The tobacco industry spends $8.5 billion for marketing expenditures nationwide.
– It is estimated that $516.7 million is spent in Florida for tobacco marketing each year.
– “More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
According to Wikipedia, the “purchase and smoking of tobacco by a person under the age of 18 is illegal” in 46 of the 50 states. Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have raised their legal age to 19, as have several counties in the state of New York. If this is the case, why is nothing done about minors in possession of tobacco, or to those who continue to supply these children with a deadly, addictive product? We have laws in place for minors and alcohol and they are enforced. If it is important enough to end the tobacco cycle in the next generation, then it is important enough to start enforcing the laws now.