OUR VIEW: Age to purchase tobacco should be 21
We all know the effects of smoking. There's no doubts it causes cancer, it's addictive and rather costly. But for some reason we're still allowing young, impressionable adults to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products and then taken over ...
We all know the effects of smoking.
There's no doubts it causes cancer, it's addictive and rather costly.
But for some reason we're still allowing young, impressionable adults to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products and then taken over by nicotine.
The age to buy to tobacco products should be raised from 18 to 21. A group of more than 2,500 South Dakota medical professionals is weighing the benefits of raising the health concerns versus the freedom to purchase tobacco products at 18.
What's positive is our nation has made great strides in informing people of the harms tobacco can cause. But it's still not good enough.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers. Additionally, nine of 10 smokers start before the age of 18. And, just as troublesome, 15 percent of high school boys use smokeless tobacco.
Our view on raising the minimum age for using tobacco products is mainly because of health concerns for young adults. We believe many people would make better decisions to avoid tobacco when they're 21.
We respect the fact that 18 is the legal age of adulthood, but we regulate the age to purchase alcohol at 21 because it can be a health hazardous if used incorrectly. That's why tobacco should fall under the same category.
Aside from the health concerns, tobacco products are terribly nasty for those who don't use them.
Second-hand smoke is awful and is a health hazard in itself, and cigarette butts and used chewing tobacco are often littered.
Raising the minimum age requirement to purchase tobacco would mean fewer people buying and using the products.
So, we hope this discussion by South Dakota medical gains some progress. Less smoking and fewer people using tobacco is beneficial for everyone.