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In January of 2019, the City of Bridgeport Health & Social Services Department was pleased to support an effort to change the smoking age in Bridgeport.
Health Director Maritza Bond, along with the support of Mayor Joseph Ganim achieved this. On January 21st, the City Council voted on an Ordinance change that would raise the smoking age to 21. Bridgeport was the second city in Connecticut to make this change.
Many healthcare professionals & community members stepped up to praise this decision.
City Health Director Maritza Bond says smoking and vaping is an epidemic among young people and it needs to be stopped.
"This is a clear epidemic, and so we want to fight this health hazard of tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes and vaping, that effect our young adults because the marketing is really targeting our youth purposely," Bond says.
“It’s great news that Bridgeport is taking such a decisive step forward in protecting kids from the dangers of tobacco use in all forms,” said Bryte Johnson Chairman of the MATCH Coalition “Leaders in Bridgeport and Hartford should be commended for these actions, and our state lawmakers need to follow their lead in passing Tobacco 21 legislation across Connecticut.”
“Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in our state. It continues to kill more people in Connecticut each year than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined,” said Michael Smith, MD, Medical Director, Primary Care Clinic Bridgeport Hospital. “Tobacco also costs the state more than $2 billion in health care costs annually. Tobacco 21 is a promising policy to help protect youth from this lifetime addiction to these deadly products.”
Ebony Jackson-Shaheed, MPH, Epidemiologist
Director of Health & Social Services
999 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604