Without discounting his zeal, she said, her group is primarily focused on regulating products, such as getting rid of cheap cigars and other items that appeal to kids.
“Go into a convenience store and look around and you will be shocked,’’ she said.
In making his case, Hartman says that smoking and exposure to second- and even third-hand smoke so crucially affects brain development that denying access to tobacco for as long as possible may reduce the potential for addiction.
According to Hartman’s research, 1 billion people will have died from smoking-related illnesses by the end of the 21st century, up from 100 million at the end of the 20th century. He said he hopes his efforts have some effect on that figure, and he’ll continue his mission until the state takes notice and, hopefully, takes over.
“If we want to prevent addiction in children, this is what we need to do,” he said.
Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.