Breaking News
More () »

Boise's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Boise, Idaho | KTVB.com

Health advocates seek bill to raise tobacco-buying age to 21

Members of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network are asking legislators to consider raising the age for buying tobacco products in Idaho.

Cancer patients and survivors came together at the Statehouse Monday for the annual "Cancer Day at the Capitol."

The event hosted by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network was aimed at urging lawmakers to pass legislation to help fight cancer, the No. 1 cause of death in Idaho.

An estimated 8,100 Idahoans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 2,900 will die from it, according to the group.

The group’s top priority is to try and raise the sales age for all tobacco products - including electronic cigarettes - in Idaho to 21.

Supporters are working with Boise Republican Sen. Fred Martin, who is expected to re-introduce a tobacco 21 bill this session.

Local high school and college students spent time today talking with legislators about the issue.

Students like Borah High School Senior Anita Sloan say the issue desperately needs to be addressed.

"As a 17-year-old my friends are turning 18, and they are succumbing to peer pressure," Sloan said. "I am worried for their health and I think it's important to put off this decision, an important decision, until they are 21 and their decision-making skills are more developed."

The group also urged lawmakers to increase access to care and treatments for cancer patients.

They want to ensure new oral chemotherapy medications are as accessible and affordable as traditional chemotherapy drugs administered by IV.