The Legislature of American Samoa finds cigarette smoking and other tobacco use by minors to be a continuing problem with grave public health consequences. According to recent U.S. studies, every day more than 3,000 minors begin smoking. One-half of smokers begin before the age 18, and 90 percent begin before the age of 21 and minors spend more than one billion dollars on cigarettes and other tobacco products every year.
The Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service has determined that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and approximately 390,000 Americans die each year of diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Therefore this act is to implement a strict and enforceable system to prevent the illegal sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors, and also to discourage minors from adopting the habit of smoking.History: 1994, PL 23-17.