HEALTH AND SAFETY
PREVENTION OF MINORS’ ACCESS TO TOBACCO
39-5701. Legislative findings and intent. The prevention of youth access to tobacco products within the state of Idaho is hereby declared to be a state goal to promote the general health and welfare of Idaho’s young people. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Idaho’s youth currently smoke and almost twenty-seven percent (27%) of boys in Idaho use chewing tobacco which is significantly higher than the national average.
Tobacco is the number one killer in Idaho causing more deaths by far than alcohol, illegal drugs, car crashes, homicides, suicides, fires and AIDS combined. According to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), twenty-four thousand three hundred ninety-four (24,394) children in Idaho currently under eighteen (18) years of age will die prematurely from tobacco-related disease. Tobacco costs the state over two hundred forty million dollars ($240,000,000) each year and is the single most preventable cause of death and disability in Idaho.
Furthermore, tobacco is usually the first drug used by young people who go on to use alcohol and other illegal drugs. A study from the CDC shows that teens who smoke are three (3) times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight (8) times more likely to use marijuana, and twenty-two (22) times more likely to use cocaine.
Most minors buy their own tobacco products or steal from self-service displays. Additionally, vending machines also create easy access for minors and a report from the CDC shows that even when vending machines are restricted to "adult areas" such as bars, children still succeed in purchasing cigarettes from vending machines.
Therefore, it is this state’s policy to prevent the illegal sale, theft and easy access of tobacco products to minors and to prohibit the possession, distribution and use of tobacco products by minors and to punish those who disregard this law.
[39-5701, added 1998, ch. 418, sec. 2, p. 1316.]