The Legal Age To Purchase Tobacco Products Is Now 21
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

12 States Have Raised The Tobacco Purchase Age To 21 — That's A Healthy Decision For Everyone

Just because vaping is better than cigarettes, doesn't mean it should be accessible to our youth.

70
12 States Have Raised The Tobacco Purchase Age To 21 — That's A Healthy Decision For Everyone

Back in June, I went to the store with my grandma because she wanted to buy cigarettes. She didn't bring her ID, so when the cashier asked her for it, I had to hand mine over. I turn 20 in September, so I knew there wouldn't be an issue, and there wasn't. But then, the cashier informed us that as of September, only people 21 or older could purchase tobacco/nicotine products at those stores.

Later that week, I went into a smoke-shop to buy some incense sticks. I looked around at all of their nicotine vape pods and packs of cigarettes and mentioned to the cashier my experience at the other store and their new 21 or older policy. The cashier then butts in, saying that it wasn't just that chain of stores – it was everywhere in the state of Florida. So, as of September 2019, it is going to be illegal to buy nicotine and tobacco products under the age of 21everywhere in Florida. Eleven other states have also implemented this law.

Now, this doesn't particularly affect me. I don't have a nicotine addiction, so my need to purchase those products is nonexistent. However, although it has very little to do with me, I have a few strong opinions about the change in age – here's why.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 90% of all smokers tried their first cigarette before they turned eighteen, and 73% of high schoolers and a shocking 56% percent of middle schoolers reported using flavored tobacco products in the last 30 days. As for electronic-cigarettes and vaping, nearly 5% of middle schoolers and 21% of high schoolers reported using electronic cigarettes in the last 30 days. Although cigarette smoking has gone down since 2011 – going from 4.3% to 1.8% in middle schoolers and from 15.8% to 8.1% in high schoolers – use of electronic cigarettes and vaping has gone up in those age groups.

Those statistics may not be shocking – especially with the advent of Juul and the widely-popularized vaping scene — but they should be concerning. Although vaping is found to be significantly less harmful in adults than smoking tobacco, as found by the American Cancer Society (ACS), vaping is not completely harmless. E-cigarette vapor is not simply just "vapor," it is composed of chemicals that have and will cause lung and heart disease, and cancer. The vapors contain ingredients that have been found to cause serious airway irritation or other bodily damage – and, the FDA doesn't currently require e-cigarette companies to not use those dangerous chemicals. On top of this, some products – including Juul – do contain nicotine, which was found to cause brain damage in teens. Because of this, and the dangers of the vapor, the ACS says that absolutely no youth should be using e-cigarettes.

After considering all of these statistics, I would much rather our youth vape than smoke cigarettes, but in a perfect world, I'd rather they do neither. By changing the age from eighteen to twenty-one, it significantly reduces the likelihood of young middle school or high school-aged students having friends who can buy these products for them. I applaud companies like Juul who have been avid supporters of raising the age to 21 as well as making sure their products are used how they're intended – for smokers who want to quit – and not for kids looking for fruit-flavored nicotine addiction. I'm sure that the kids who really want it will find a way to get it, but I believe these new laws are a strong step in the right direction towards discrediting the popularization of vaping at a young age and will create a more healthy future.

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

73388
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

134499
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments