Higher minimum ages for smoking would reduce not only the number of young people that smoke but those overall as well.
That is the outcome of some research from the Northern Medical Program within Northern Health.
Doctor Russ Callahan explains…
“I think 21 for tobacco would definitely reduce the smoking burden in our society, i mean if we had the guts to raise it i think you would see a reduction in smoking.”
But Doctor Callahan feels we may have to raise the minimum age for other products as well…
“I think one of the things we’d have to be concerned about is there would be a mismatch between the min age for tobacco and canibus when it’s legalized and also alcohol.”
He feels the age for all three should be the same.
Doctor Callahan says there is an interesting experimentunderway right now in parts of the United States…
“Five states have recently raised the minimum age of tobacco sales from 18 or 19 to 21 years of age, states like California, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey and Maine. So we will begin to see what happens to young people’s pattern of smoking in those states.”
Health Canada is behind the study done by the Northern Medical Program as it wants to reduce smoking to just 5 percent of the population by 2035.