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POLICY

Old Enough to Vote but Not to Smoke

Despite objections that 18 year olds should be treated like adults and allowed to smoke, local governments are trying to prevent the next generation of young adults from becoming victims of the tobacco industry. Last year Chicago banned the sale of all flavored tobacco products, which are marketed to attract young customers, within 500 feet of schools. In October of 2014, the city council just down the road in Evanston, Ill., joined a growing list of cities in banning tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21. 

The FDA Must Claim Regulatory Power over All Tobacco Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a proposed regulation in April and solicited comments on how to regulate tobacco products that are subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009. Up until now, many tobacco products such as dissolvable tobacco, cigars, cigarillos, hookah, e-cigarettes and pipe tobacco, were not subject to FDA regulation. The FDA is responsible for “regulating the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors.” The fact that many tobacco products have escaped FDA regulation until this time goes against their mission. It is vital that the FDA claim its power to regulate these products.

CASAColumbia Shares Governor Cuomo's Concerns About Medical Marijuana

On June 19, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders reached a deal to create a medical marijuana program for New York. Cuomo says that the agreement “strikes the right balance” between making marijuana available for people who have serious health conditions and protecting public health and safety at the same time. We share Cuomo’s concerns about the balance of making treatment available for people who need it while prohibiting smoked marijuana. 

Granting Clemency for Non-Violent Drug Offenders Is a Step in the Right Direction

In recent weeks news has broken that President Obama is considering granting clemency to hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders incarcerated in the United States. An act of this magnitude is long overdue and is a step in the right direction when it comes to dealing with our nation’s policy toward drug offenders.

Public policy insight: the changing face of teen substance use

Today, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released their annual Monitoring the Future report, which measures substance use and attitudes among the nation’s 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders. The 2013 report showed continued progress in the decline of some forms of substance use among teens, namely with alcohol, cigarettes and prescription opioids. However, according to the report, while the use of these substances has declined, teen use of marijuana, prescription stimulants and other tobacco/nicotine products has increased.

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