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Should the Age to Buy Cigarettes Be 21?

Permanent adolescence in all senses other than that of age seems to be an increasing feature of our society.

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

January 14, 2014 - 1:00 pm
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Just as a more permissive attitude to cannabis gains momentum in the United States, so does a more restrictive attitude to tobacco. It is as if there were a law of the conservation of prohibition: if one substance is permitted after having been prohibited, another will be prohibited after having been permitted.

While Colorado permits the use of marijuana by those over 21 for any purpose, New York City prepares to prevent sales of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21. An article in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine comes out strongly in favor of this more restrictive approach to the sale of tobacco. The arguments it uses and those it refutes are instructive.

Those who go on to smoke throughout their lives generally start at an early age: earlier, that is, than 21. Thus if adolescents could be discouraged from smoking, rates of smoking among adults would decline markedly.

Of course, it is not enough for something to be desired or desirable for it to be feasible. Such evidence as exists, however, suggests that restricting sales to minors might work. A town in Massachusetts, Needham, forbade the sale of tobacco to those under 21, and the rate of smoking among high school students declined by nearly half five years later. The rate in a neighboring town, which did not impose the ban, fell in the same time by only a third as much. Furthermore, raising the minimum drinking age to 21 was followed by (one cannot with absolute certainty say caused) a fall in alcohol consumption by adolescents, drunk driving, and motor accidents.

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Top Rated Comments   
Raise the age to vote, smoke, and drink alcohol to the age of 21 with two exceptions - you can participate in all adult activities if you are in the military and you are not allowed to participate in all adult activities if you are still carried on your parents health insurance plan.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm a non-smoker long past the age of 21, and I say No, No, a thousand times no. Either 18-year old are adults, with all that adulthood entails -- military service, voting, jury duty, legal responsibility for your actions, and, yes, choosing to enjoy legal products that are not good for you -- or they are not and all of the above should be restricted to 21+. If you are too young to choose whether or not to use tobacco or alcohol, you are too young for the other stuff. Make up your mind, society.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
There shouldn't be anything with an age older than 18. If you can fight for your country you're a man, not a boy.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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I am sick of all this stuff. Stay the hell out of people's lives. The argument about them being able to serve in the military at the age of 18, one might wonder what they are even fighting for? To maintain an ever-more totalitarian state? And all those people willing to dump on youth and their ability to make their own choices, just think how you will feel if driving is banned for "elderly" people past a certain arbitrary cut-off date (surely New York must be working on something like that, too). What they do to youth, they can do to others, as well, so be careful what kind of control you support.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
my best friend's mother makes $77 hourly on the laptop . She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her income was $19278 just working on the laptop for a few hours. see page,,,,,,,,,

=====>>>> W­­­W­W.Ba­y­9­­­5.C­­­OM
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Long past time to start treating young adults as adults. States should be allowed to lower the drinking age to 18. New York can choose to treat its adults like children, but they shouldn't impose extended adolescence on the rest of the country.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
We permit 18 year old youths to vote and but not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Mature enough to vote but not mature enough to smoke or drink? Since young people are now permitted to remain on their parent's health insurance to 26, why not make voting, smoking and drinking legal at 26?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's cut through the haze.

Dope is the Leftists vice fave, including marijuana. Tobacco, for whatever reason, is out of favor with the tyrants in current contol.

That explains everything about this topic...including the fact that even the tyrant in chief must hide his addiction to tobacco.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
They can't drink or smoke before 21 because we assume they're stupid.
Yet, the libs gave them the vote at 18 because if they could be drafted for Vietnam, so they should have a say. At the time, 18 was already legal for drinking and smoking. Now, they can't do anything but vote.
See how it always works with leftist stupidity?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Raise the age to vote, smoke, and drink alcohol to the age of 21 with two exceptions - you can participate in all adult activities if you are in the military and you are not allowed to participate in all adult activities if you are still carried on your parents health insurance plan.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The age of majority should be raised to twenty. Period.

The bar for maturity has been set too low, and as the voting age in the USA was lowered by the 26th Amendment in 1971, like almost all other legislation passed in the 1970's, is highly suspect.

26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
and at what age can a female get an abortion without parental consent or even notification?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
smoking should be banned completely, outlawed infact, as it causes great health problems. Also because of the huge increase in single parent families they should ban sex. There, 2 problems solved!!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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