Cancer patients, survivors and advocates gathered inside the Statehouse Monday for the annual "Cancer Day at the Capitol".
The event is hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The group spent the day urging lawmakers to pass legislation to fight cancer.
Cancer is the number one cause of death in Idaho. An estimated 8,100 Idahoans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and 2,900 will die from it.
The top priority this year: to raise the sales age for all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, in Idaho to 21.
“The best way to keep kids from becoming addicted to tobacco products is to prevent them from starting," Luke Cavener, ACS CAN Idaho government relations director, said. "Raising the tobacco age will help keep these deadly products out of high schools, where it’s easy for young teens to get them from older peers. We know 95 percent of smokers start before age 21, and if they don’t start by that age, they likely never will.”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Idaho, and it’s responsible for roughly 27 percent of cancer deaths in the state.
Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, will introduce the legislation this session.