Proposition to Raise Smoking Age To 21, Making Case For Intentionally Delaying Legality

Consideration has been given for the editing and publish of this post

So, to rehash, you can get married, drive a car, and go to war to fight and die for your country, at the age of 18. What you can’t do is drink yourself silly, and now perhaps take a drag of a cigarette. There is a new proposition on the docket to make it illegal to smoke before the age of 21. How successful will it be and what is the reason behind upping the smoking ante?

What we see with the drinking age is that it does very little to curb teenage drinking. Much like guns, you can have all the laws on the books that you want, but if they aren’t enforced, it will do little to curb behaviors. Those who are pushing for the new laws believe that changing the age may not only affect teenage smokers, but it will create change for an entire generation of older smoking individuals.

Most people who begin smoking, do so in their teens and carry on for many decades until, and only when, they can kick the habit. Making stupid decisions when you are in your teens is nothing new, but smoking may be one that has some real and lasting consequences for the American public.

Statistics found by a family law attorney Dallas, shows that if it is possible to delay first-time smokers until they are past their teenage years, it will significantly impact their attitudes about smoking and whether they want to form the habit to begin with.

Many laws do little to change the behaviors of those who set out to do harm. The thing about smoking is that those who begin, often have no idea about the harms that they are doing. Not thinking about their future is the cornerstone of being in this age group.

So, one puff of a cigarette can’t possibly translate into their thinking as a lifetime of health consequences, monetary downfall, or the monkey on their back that follows them into adulthood and beyond. For them, it is just one puff of a cigarette.

California may be the second of many states to raise their legal smoking age for purchasing cigarettes to 21, up from 18, in hopes that it may stop the addiction that we see in this age group. Not only at stake are the cigarettes but the electronic ones as well.

Most teenagers think that E-cigs are nothing more than a fashion statement. Often left out of the campaign against tobacco, lawmakers are finally adding them to the naughty list. Just as unhealthy and addictive in nature, it is about time that someone included them.

In addition to the proposed hike in age, are restrictions on where cigarettes and e-cigs can be used. No longer can they be pulled out while you are trying to enjoy a good meal at a restaurant, e-cigs are now the target of regulation just as they should be. Also, there will be a hefty tax added to tobacco products in an attempt to dissuade many from partaking in them.

If the proposition passes, as many believe that it will, there will be an increase in cigarette taxes by $2 per pack. An enormous slug to the wallet of many, the only thing standing in the bill’s way is the signature of Gov. Gerry Brown, who has been on record as being for the new proposed changes.

Studies have shown that nicotine is not only a carcinogenic, but it can alter the cognition of young people when smoking. With statistics reported by the Institute of Medicine, that as many as 90 percent of all smokers begin before the age of 26, stopping kids access early on may be the biggest way to tackle the problem of smoking throughout their lifetime.

There are estimates that as many as 223,000 deaths can be prevented from moving the age from 18 to 21. That not only impacts our public health system significantly, but it also targets a real dilemma for our future generation.

Singing the praises for the new proposed changes are not only public health officials, but also reformed smokers who wish that someone had limited their access and saved them from years of monetary loss and health degradation.

Of course, there are those who believe that the new laws would infringe on the rights of 18 to 21-year-olds, but sometimes you have to save people from themselves, don’t you?

May 17, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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