Tobacco Law Changed

Avery Ragon, Staff Writer

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The age adults can purchase tobacco products has been raised.  President Trump signed the new age into law as a part of a “sweeping spending bill.”  It is now illegal for cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes to be sold to anyone under the age of 21. There are many states including Arkansas, California, and Connecticut, that have individually raised the legal age to 21.  Health organizations have pushed for vape flavors to be banned because they are popular among teenagers. Vape shop owners argue that the flavors help adult smokers to stop smoking.  Most smokers start smoking at young ages, and this law will help lower the number of kids who use tobacco products.

Tobacco and nicotine products affect teenagers locally and nationwide. Data shows that 95% of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 21 (Tobacco Free Kids). The ages of 18 to 21 is a period when smokers move from smoking every once in awhile to frequent use. Nicotine is more harmful to teenagers because their brains are still developing.  Changing the legal age to 21 reduces the chance of young people becoming addicted.

Tobacco companies intentionally target teenagers.  Adolescents find the ads appealing and then purchase the products.  Increasing the age to 21 reduces the chance of high school students being able to purchase tobacco products. Every day about 250 kids under the age of 18 become regular smokers (Tobacco Free Kids). One out of three teenagers eventually dies from nicotine addiction. Now, if someone walks into a gas station or smoking shop hoping to buy tobacco or any cigarette product, he needs to have his I.D. proving that he is 21.