Should Connecticut Raise the Smoking Age to 21?
Currently the only state where you need to be 21 to buy smokes is Hawaii. From an article in the NewsTimes, the New Jersey's state legislature has just passed a bill that would fine retailers up to $1,000 if they sell cigarettes and other tobacco products including e-cigs to anyone 20 or younger.New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie has until January 19 to sign the bill into law. Do you think Connecticut should follow Hawaii's and possibly New Jersey's lead and do the same? Raising the smoking age to 21 has been introduced in 8 other states.
I know what you're saying. Any 16 year old who wants to suck tar and nicotine into their lungs will find a way, and you would be correct, but the Institute of Medicine's 2015 study projected that raising the smoking age to 21 would result in about 249,000 fewer premature deaths for those born between 2000 and 2019.
The good news is that the national smoking rate for high schoolers has dropped to 9% in 2014. The bad news is the rate of middle schoolers using e-cigs has gone from 2% in 2011 to 12% in 2014.
What say you? Knowing that teens under the age of 18 will find a way to keep smoking because they're hooked anyway, should Connecticut raise the smoking age to 21? Maybe we could avoid this.