24 Jun 2016

Guam closer to higher smoking age

11:50 am on 24 June 2016

A year long effort to raise Guam's smoking age from 18 to 21 now rests with Governor Eddie Calvo after narrowly passing in the island's senate.

The Guam Daily Post reports there is public support for the measure but six representatives opposed it.

One said if 18 years olds can vote, serve the country and make numerous other decisions, they should be able to choose or not to choose to smoke.

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Photo: 123RF

The Washington based president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Matthew Myer, had written to the 15 senators saying the legislation should be titled 'The Youth Protection Act.'

Guam has one of the highest youth smoking rates among U.S. states and territories.

Studies cited in Guam have indicated a higher age will significantly reduce the numbers starting to smoke and generally improve the health of young people.

California, Hawaii and at least 155 localities in 11 states, including New York City, have the higher age limit in place.