Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
With the vaping epidemic impacting so many Kentucky kids, we applaud Senator Ralph Alvarado for championing Senate Bill 56 and ensuring the Commonwealth complies with the new federal Tobacco-21 law, and we thank the Kentucky Senate for demonstrating their supporting today. This measure seeks to codify in state law a minimum legal sale age of 21 for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. We also commend Senator Alvarado for working to remove all penalties for youth under age 21 for purchase, use, and possession of tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are nicotine-packed products that prime the adolescent brain for addiction and can cause lasting damage to brain development, among other negative health outcomes. As much as we don’t want to believe it, our kids often rely on friends or relatives close in age to get these harmful tobacco products. This measure can reduce the likelihood of kids’ access to e-cigarettes and other products through peers.
As we continue to celebrate Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol and our state leaders who step up for kids, we thank Senator Alvarado for his continued leadership on this important measure for kids’ health. We now call on the Kentucky House to support Senate Bill 56 to protect kids’ health now and in the future.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.