Raising the Minimum Smoking Age

Arguments around loss of revenue in small convenience stores is a similar argument we hear with the Tobacco Use Reduction Force (TURF) proposed policy. We should ask ourselves: “Do we think it’s right for stores to rely to heavily on the revenue from products that are deadly?” Personally, I think not.


The headlines yesterday proclaimed that New York City is thinking of raising the age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21.  Now Chicago announced it may also raise the minimum age.  Considering most life time smoking has already started by the time the kids turn 18,  raising the legal age could “discourage, or at least delay” the start of this dangerous addiction.  A higher legal age would also help prevent older friends from being able to purchase tobacco for younger acquaintances.

While New York City discusses this new proposal, one Massachusetts town has already raised the legal age to 21.  The town of Needham saw its high school smoking rate drop from 13% to 5.5% since the 21-year-old limit took effect in 2006.  Canton, Massachusetts also plans to make the change to 21 later this month, but with a provision–if smoking rates among high school students don’t decline, the law…

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