The standard legal age for purchasing cigarettes is 18, and I always thought that this was too young. It seems that 21 would be far more appropriate. Why can you ruin your body with cigarettes at age 18, but you have to wait three years to pollute your body with alcohol? And I am not alone in thinking that 18-year-olds are too young to take up smoking - New York City is on the brink of raising the tobacco-purchasing age from 18 to 21. It wasn't even a close vote, according to the Associated Press, the city council voted overwhelmingly to make it a law.
In addition, the city voted to raise the minimum per pack price for cigarettes to to $10.50 a pack, making it not just inconvenient for young adults to buy cigarettes, but also harder for teens to afford them.
"We know that tobacco dependence can begin very soon after a young person first tries smoking, so it's critical that we stop young people from smoking before they ever start," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. And this isn't to say that young adults won't pick up the habit, but it will just be more difficult for them to do so. The American Lung Association notes that "85 percent started when they were 21 or younger," and that, "people who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop a severe addiction to nicotine than those who start at a later age." And I really do think that any hurdles we can put between our children and cigarettes are welcome hurdles indeed.
- By Sunny Chanel