Most Kentuckians Support Raising Age To Buy Tobacco, Poll Says

Feb 8, 2016

Credit Natalia Zhigareva, 123rf Stock Photo

A majority of Kentucky adults favor raising the legal age to buy tobacco products, according to a poll released Monday. 

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows 60% of Kentucky adults support raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. 

Susan Zepeda is president/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. She says raising the age will serve as a deterrent in young people starting to use tobacco products. "If the shopkeepers are doing their jobs, it would mean that the only way a younger person could get cigarettes would be if an older person would either give them to them or buy them for them.” 

Kentucky adults are divided on whether the state should increase the excise tax on cigarettes, according the poll, showing 51% of Kentuckians are opposed to a cigarette excise tax increase of $1 per pack. Zepeda says increasing the price of cigarettes may deter young people from smoking. “Young adults are generally quite price sensitive and so an increase in the tax increases the overall price of a pack of cigarettes,” she said.