Durant High School Journalism

Legal Buying Age of Tobacco Increases

Similarly to smoking, vaping has proven to produce dangerous side effects, causing legislators to take action.

heart.org

Similarly to smoking, vaping has proven to produce dangerous side effects, causing legislators to take action.

In September of 2019, President Trump stated that the Food and Drug Administration planned to take any e-cigarette that were not designed to taste like tobacco off the market. Vaping products are marketed towards teens. Companies like Juul and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., make a variety flavors to make it seem like teens are not smoking dangerous chemicals rather just a flavorful smoke.

These products are much worse than cigarettes. The different flavors that the vaping companies offer are derived from Vitamin E which is not safe to inhale. These kind of oils in the lungs can cause a sticky honey like substance in the lungs. Some may say that Vitamin E can be good for the body because there are creams and supplements, but when it is heated and inhaled it creates a bubbling effect in the lungs that burns the lungs and could cause an explosion in the lungs.

On January 1, 2020, a new bill named, Tobacco to 21 Act, was passed. This new bill raised the minimum buying age of tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21.

Over the past two years, teen vaping has increased drastically. In 2017, nine percent of seniors in high school were vaping, while in 2019, the percentage went up to 37. Federal legislation has been making it harder for teens to buy cigarettes and vaping products.

19 states and 500 cities had already raised the minimum buying age of these tobacco products to 21. Raising the minimum buying age could lead to a reduction of potentially 223,000 deaths. Approximately 1,300 of teens are killed every day due tobacco products.  

On the other hand, some say that raising the age limit on tobacco is pointless. They argue smoking has been on a decline already because of the extra taxes that are put on cigarettes and vaping products as well as, an increase in non-smoking areas. Already the percent of smokers has gone down from 25 percent in 1997 to 18 percent in 2013. The rate of smoking has gone down, but that doesn’t mean the smoking epidemic that is going among the youth is going down. 

Raising the age will cause the vaping and tobacco among teens to significantly go down because students do not have easy access to these products, like before. When the legal age was at 18, it was easy for teens under 18 to gain access to these products because older friends would buy vaping and tobacco products for them. This means that high school students would be safer because with this restricted access. 

Tobacco and vaping products effect the blood, throat, colon, kidney, stomach, lung, bladder, mouth, and liver. There are about 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and vaping products, and about 4,000 chemicals in smokeless tobacco. The raising of the age limit on tobacco and vaping products will reduce death and lung issues. The buying age for tobacco has gone up and that means that the new generation would be safer from all of the health problems caused by vaping and tobacco products. 

About the Writer
Photo of Jayleen Nunez
Jayleen Nunez, Staff Writer

Jayleen Nunez is a junior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint. When she isn't writing for the PawPrint, she participates in Mindfulness...

Hawaii Considers State-wide Cigarette Ban

Hawaii+Considers+State-wide+Cigarette+Ban

nbcnews.com

For years, state lawmakers have deliberated ways to combat the addicting killers that are cigarettes. The smoking rate has faced a noticeable decline, but cigarettes are still prevalent as a solid 38 million Americans still smoke.

Recently, Hawaii lawmakers proposed a rather creative bill to make it illegal for virtually anyone to purchase cigarettes. The plan is to gradually raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes until it gets high enough to exclude approximately the entire population. The bill will raise the buying age to 30 in 2020, to 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and in 2024, reach a height of 100.. In each subsequent year, the age would raise to 40, 50, and 60, reaching its height in 2024 where the age would hit 100.

The law would only include cigarettes, and electronic cigarettes and tobacco would still be legal.

The plan was created by state Rep. Richard Creagan, a physician concerned about the public’s health. Creagan told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald his reasonings for supporting a cigarette ban.

Referring to the cigarette, Creagan said, “This is more lethal, more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addictive. In my view, you are taking people who are enslaved from a horrific addiction, and freeing people from horrific enslavement.”

In a phone interview with The Washington Post, Rep. Cynthia Thielen, a supporter of the ban, stated that the goal of the bill is to “keep people alive and healthy in the Aloha State.”

Hawaii has fairly strict cigarette laws, becoming the first U.S. state to raise the age to purchase and smoke to 21 in 2015.

According to the CDC, cigarettes are the leading cause of death in the U.S., causing more than 480,000 deaths per year, with more than 41,000 deaths resulting from exposure to secondhand smoke.

“We, as legislators, have a duty to do things to save people’s lives,” said Creagan. “If we don’t ban cigarettes, we are killing people.”

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