HOUSTON, TX - We've seen the staggering statistics and we've watched those cringe-inducing commercials, yet more than 42 million Americans still light up every day.
To cut down on the number of cigarette smokers, the American Academy of Pediatrics released recommendations on Monday, suggesting that the legal smoking age be raised to 21. It's a move 90 cities and the state of Hawaii already made.
"The hope is that because of all the problems associated with smoking to try to limit the number of children starting to smoke," said Dr. Helen Sheena, a Houston pediatrician.
The AAP estimates that for kids born between 2000 and 2019, raising the age from 18 to 21 would save about 250,000 from premature deaths. That adds up to about 4.2 million years of life.
The AAP made a few other recommendations to the FDA, including regulating e-cigarettes just like other tobacco products and banning flavors such as grape and cotton candy.