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Increase of Tobacco-Buying Age to 21 Proposed to County Commissioners

Muskegon County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a resolution that supports raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products.

At a full board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20, the commissioners unanimously voted to support an initiative called “Tobacco 21,” which aims to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Behind the resolution is the Knowsmoke Coalition, a Muskegon County anti-smoking group. The resolution was introduced at board committee meeting Thursday, Dec. 15. Cyndi Powers, Knowsmoke Coalition co-chair, said reducing young peoples’ access to tobacco is the group’s focus.

“Studies have shown if we keep a child from smoking until after they’re 21, the chances of them being a long-term addicted smoker is a lot less,” Powers said.

According to an update from the One in 21 initiative, which is striving to make Muskegon County the state’s healthiest county by 2021, the rate of adult smoking in the county improved to slightly below the state average. Kendall Stagg, director of safety net transformation and community health innovation for Trinity Health, said the next step is to inform the public about Tobacco 21. “Beyond 200 jurisdictions have passed this law, so it truly is a national movement, it’s sweeping the nation,” Stagg said.

California and Hawaii, in addition to 212 cities and counties in the United States, have banned tobacco sales to people younger than 21-years-old, according to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. In Michigan, Ann Arbor became the first city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the from 18 to 21. An ordinance was adopted by its city council in August.

Supporters of the Ann Arbor ordinance claimed it would make it harder for teens to be introduced to nicotine or tobacco products. However, opponents argued people younger than 21-years-old could drive to other municipalities to purchase those products.

Learn more about Tobacco 21 here.

upcoming events

Jan 20, 2018

Men's Health Fair

The African American Men’s Health Fair
Offering Free Health Screenings at Muskegon Heights High School
Muskegon, MI- On Saturday, January 20, 2018, Health Project’s Community Outreach team …

Jan 30, 2018

Freedom from Smoking Cessation Classes

New year, new you! FREE Freedom from Smoking Cessation Classes are offered to educate and support those who are struggling to kick the habit. Learn how to …

Feb 1, 2018

Free Nurturing Parent Classes

Join us for this FREE 10-week series for parents! Classes will cover topics such as discipline, communication, child development and problem solving. This fun and informative class …

our services

The Health Project provides a number of direct services to eligible members of the community. These services include the following programs:

community spotlight

Meet Shelia Wilson

Educating providers and youth about sexual health in Muskegon County.

“We are lucky to have the low HIV rates that we do in Muskegon County; but the STI rates are very scary because HIV and other STI’s can go hand in hand”, stated Shelia Wilson, Nursing Supervisor at Public Health Muskegon County. Shelia oversees the STI and HIV Program at Public Health. Along with that, come many other responsibilities.

what’s happening

DPATH

Diabetes Personal Action Toward Health (DPATH) is a program developed by the University of Stanford, designed to help people who are affected by diabetes. The six-week course …

ClarkeIS

Health Project was awarded the Trinity Health Innovation Award at the Trinity Health Clinical Conference October 25th, for the Innovation pilot to integrate their IT system, ClarkeIS, …

World Aids Day

World Aids Day is a day to raise awareness and support those living with HIV. On December 1st, health organizations around the world show their support by …

staff highlight

Meet Emma Johnston

As a community health worker in direct service, Emma Johnston’s main concern is health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid; but she also works with other DHS programs like food assistance and State Emergency Relief, utility bill assistance through True North and MOCAP, and any other kind of community referrals or aid possible.

 

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