According to the Ohio Department of Health, About 20 Percent of Adults in Ohio Smoke; Annual Smoking Related Health Costs in Ohio More Than $4 Billion
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Taressa Caldwell, of Columbus, met with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today as Ohio’s representative to the Youth Activism Fellowship (YAF) sponsored by the Legacy for Longer Healthier Lives. Caldwell, a junior at Northern Kentucky University, has been an advocate for smoking cessation since the sixth grade. The Legacy for Longer Healthier Lives is a leadership program aimed at coaching young people to reject tobacco through peer-to-peer networking and direct action.
“Young Ohioans like Taressa understand the importance of being well-informed citizens and community advocates. Taressa’s work to keep Ohioans healthy by not using tobacco products is further proof that our state produces dynamic young leaders,” Brown said. “Smoking has too deep a cost for Ohio communities. That’s why it’s imperative that we support Ohioans seeking change.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, an estimated 20.2 percent of adults in Ohio smoke, costing Ohioans some $4 billion in health related costs annually.
Brown joined Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in writing a letter to the Federal Drug Administration regarding the Center for Tobacco Products’ decision to exclude some smokeless tobacco related products from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Brown included an amendment in the Act focused on smokeless “tobacco candies” that are sometimes used by young adults and teenagers. The amendment, introduced with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), required the new Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee to immediately study the public health effects of tobacco candy, specifically on children, and report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their findings.