Demon Debate: Should the smoking age be 21?

In December, President Donald Trump signed a law that raises the age to buy tobacco products to 21. The law also applies to electronic cigarettes.

Smoking puts everyone at risk

Keator Poleman

Digital Editor

If you pay any attention to the news, you’ll notice how the smoking age gets brought up every couple of years or so. And every time, someone mentions that Americans can serve in the military at 18 and vote.

While the argument is constantly used, it is a moot point.  Yes, currently, this is how the law is set up. But laws can change, and laws can be altered to fit the current climate.

America used to have laws allowing smoking in certain public areas like airplanes, but they have since changed.

The law does not have to remain the same simply because it is all we have known. Laws are not stagnant.

The government changed the law on public smoking to begin with because the public’s health was at risk.

People have had enough with the side effects of smoking and did something about it. People argued and brought their cases to those who can make the legal changes.

Now, this is a country built on freedom to choose the path one wishes to take. However, there are limits on how far one’s personal freedom can go before it conflicts with the rights of others.

Smoking is a health risk and may lead to cancer and death. What’s worse, manufacturers of electronic cigarettes are attracting young people by using flavored products.

These companies are ruining these children’s lives, and all they care about is money.

Smoking is a public health hazard and ought to be done away with in its entirety. Even so, it is up to the courts and legislature to decide.

While many will die and be hurt before tobacco is ever outlawed, the only way to make real change is to push for change and allow the process to take its course.

We are a country of laws, and until those laws are changed, we must respect them. For now, the law stands that no one under 21 may legally purchase tobacco products.

Your life is yours to live

Samantha Clark

Editor-in-Chief 

The new law is supposed to benefit the health of younger people, but the government should not make that choice for them.

We’re all familiar with the sound bite, “If people can go to war for their country, they should be allowed to smoke.” I agree with this reason, but let’s talk about others.

It’s not the government’s decision to make a legal adult make healthy choices. Many states were threatened by a 1984 federal law saying federal highway funds would be taken away if they didn’t change the drinking age from 18 to 21.

This led to unhealthy binge drinking on the part of people age 18 to 20 because alcohol became a taboo thing that people wanted to drink because they weren’t supposed to.

Isn’t it likely something similar will happen with smoking?

The law states the adult age is 18. This means 18-year-olds can vote, join the military and consent to major surgery. If an 18-year-old can weigh the risks of surgery, they should be deemed capable of doing the same for smoking.

Your life is yours to live. Whether you think smoking is a good or bad decision, individuals should get to choose what they do to their bodies, and not let the government regulate it.

The Current Sauce

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