Phoenix, Mesa voters want to raise smoking age to 21, polling finds

Apr 9, 2019, 5:30 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A clear majority of voters in the Valley’s two biggest cities want to see the legal smoking age raised from 18 to 21.

Around two-thirds of voters in Phoenix and Mesa support the idea of increasing the age for buying tobacco and vaping products, according to polls released Tuesday by Valley-based OH Predictive Insights.

The polling was commissioned by the American Heart Association and CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and health care consortium Kaiser Permanente.

“Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 is one of the best things cities can do to save lives and increase quality of life for local residents,” Shelley Hearne, CityHealth president, said in a press release.

“We would love to see Phoenix and Mesa join the hundreds of other cities across the U.S. that are protecting their youth from the harms of tobacco.”

The poll found that 66% of Phoenix voters were in favor of raising the age, 26% opposed it and 8% had no opinion or refused to answer.

In Mesa, 68% favored it, 23% opposed it and 9% did not express a preference.

Both polls were conducted March 11-13, and the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.

An American Lung Association report released in January attributed 8,250 deaths in Arizona to smoking in 2017.

Two Arizona cities, Cottonwood and Douglas, have raised their smoking age to 21.

Bills to raise the age statewide have stalled in the Arizona Legislature in recent years.

No action has been taken on one introduced this year, Senate Bill 1363.

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Phoenix, Mesa voters want to raise smoking age to 21, polling finds