Did you know that in 2017, about 12.5% of Oklahoma high school students used tobacco at least once in the past 30 days? Nationally, the rate was 8.8%. Oklahoma’s rate on youth tobacco use has historically been above the national average. Additionally, around 1,500 Oklahoma kids under the age of 18 will become new daily smokers each year. On May 19th, 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 1423 into law, raising Oklahoma’s legal minimum age to buy tobacco products in Oklahoma from 18 years to 21 years. Oklahoma’s new law now aligns with the federal Tobacco-Free Youth Act, which was signed by President Trump on December 20th, 2019. Under Oklahoma’s Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act (§63-1-229.11., pg. 125), it is illegal for retailers to sell tobacco products to minors. It is also illegal for adults to purchase and furnish tobacco products to youth.
Parents, caregivers, and other caring adults in the community have the greatest impact on our kids’ decision to use tobacco. We can help reduce the risk of smoking by talking to them directly about the dangers of using tobacco. For Oklahoma resources, visit https://stopswithme.com/protecting-oklahoma/protecting-our-youth/.
If you smoke but would like to try to quit, call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for free coaching and support. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit OKhelpline.com for more information.
Tobacco Use in Oklahoma 2019 – https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/smoking-region/tobacco-use-oklahoma-2019
Tobacco Stops With Me. (A Program of TSET) – https://stopswithme.com/
Tobacco21: Oklahoma – https://tobacco21.org/state/oklahoma/