Portland Raises Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco - Unanimous Approval by City Council

The Portland City Council gave unanimous approval on Monday night to a new proposal by the Health and Human Services Committee that will raise the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age.

"We applaud this move by the Portland City Council," said Tara Hill, Executive Director of Maine Cancer Foundation. "Maine has one of the highest rates of lung cancer death in the country, and tobacco use accounts for nearly half of all cancer deaths in our state. We share a deep commitment to reducing tobacco use in our state, especially among young people."

"The fact is, 90% of adult smokers start before the age of 18," said Hill. "We cannot talk in a meaningful way about fighting cancer without talking about tobacco. Cigarettes, cigars and chew products contain over 70 known carcinogens and are addictive, so preventing our youth from starting smoking is critical.  It our hope that many more cities and towns – and eventually the state of Maine - will follow Portland’s lead."

Maine Cancer Foundation is a Maine-based nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing cancer incidence and mortality for the people of Maine with a strong emphasis on prevention, screening and improving patient outcomes.

Learn more about efforts in Maine to Cut Tobacco Use

Wednesday, June 22, 2016