I worked as an Advanced Practice Certified Nurse Midwife, and healthcare practitioner for over 40 years, until I retired 3 years ago, and moved to Colchester VT, District 9-2.
Since moving to Vermont, I’ve spent some time researching my perspective candidates’ policy positions & proposals
I’ve learned that the VT Healthcare system is a $6 billion industry. VT spends over one sixth of our State Budget (over $1 billion) on healthcare and related services.
The cost to treat smoking related illnesses, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, & bronchitis, increases as new users take up this extremely addictive habit.
Th Federal Law,Tobacco21, was passed February 26, 2019, which made it illegal, in all 50 states, to sell or distribute tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
While researching the differences between my District’s candidates I noticed that Jon Lynch is proposing to lower the age of smoking from 21 to 18.
As a medical professional for over 40 years, I was appalled to see that policy proposal.
I’ve spent my 40 years of medical practice counseling people about the risks of tobacco use, and struggles to quit.
The reason the age to buy tobacco is at 21 is because research has shown that if people delay tobacco use until 21 they are less likely to take up this extremely expensive/deadly/addictive habit. The result of earlier tobacco use would increase the cost of VT’s already unsustainable cost of healthcare.
Vermont’s State Auditor, Doug Hoffer, recently warned Vermonters about the increasing costs of healthcare and the cost implications.
Jon Lynch’s proposal to lower the age to purchase tobacco products to 18 will hook younger smokers at an earlier age and add to our already skyrocketing healthcare costs.