Today’s Headlines: The State That Raised the Smoking Age to 21, the Link Between Exercise and Pollution, and the FDA’s New Law on E-Cigarettes


California’s smoking age is now the same as the federal drinking age. This week, California’s governor Jerry Brown signed a proposed bill that raised the age limit to buy tobacco. “Supporters of the law aim to deter adolescents from the harmful, sometimes fatal effects of nicotine addiction. The Institute of Medicine reports 90 percent of daily smokers began using tobacco before turning 19. In April, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to raise the legal smoking age to 21 and more than 100 local jurisdictions around the country have made the change, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.” The bill will go into effect on June 9, 2016. (NBC)

Air pollution is not an excuse to skip your daily exercise. Researchers claim that the polluted air you may breathe in while exercising outside is not enough of a concern to deter from the benefits of exercise. “The researchers used computer simulations to compare data on different kinds of physical activity and different levels of air pollution in locations around the world. It found that for an average air pollution concentration in an urban area, the tipping point – when the risks begin to outweigh the benefits – comes after a huge seven hours of cycling or 16 hours of walking a day.” Researchers emphasized that efforts to reduce pollution should not stop. (BBC)

The FDA announced new e-cigarette rules. Today, the administration declared that e-cigarettes could not be sold to individuals under the age of 18. “The requirements…are likely to only intensify the debate over whether the devices are a dangerous gateway to traditional tar-laden, chemical-filled cigarettes or a helpful smoking-cessation tool…[anti-smoking advocates] say that e-cigarettes could be harmful, that the long-term health risks are unknown and that companies are marketing their products to younger and younger teens. They say the companies are using the same tactics and themes that the traditional cigarette makers used years ago. The number of middle and high school students using electronic cigarettes tripled between 2013 and 2014, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The new regulations will begin in 90 days, and all e-cigarette retailers must ask customers to provide government-issued photo IDs for age verification. (Washington Post)