Backed by a Mayor known for his strong anti-tobacco feelings, the New York City Council recently voted to raise the age at which people can legally buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. While Mayor Bloomberg has yet to sign the bill, he is expected to soon. Supporters say stricter laws will curb addiction. But despite conclusive evidence that smoking is harmful for everyone’s health and the environment, should government involvement be the answer to halting the bad habit?
The new law will not only apply to cigarettes and chewing tobacco, but electronic cigarettes as well. Once the mayor signs the bill it will take six months to go into effect.
“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 start,” explained Bloomberg after the city council voted 35 to 10 in favor of raising the age limit.
A study earlier this year indicated stricter policies governing teen access to smoking may reduce smoking in adulthood. Researchers with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said states with the most restrictive teen tobacco limits have fewer adult heavy smokers and can lower adult smoking rates, especially among women.
Opponents, quite obviously, object to the fact that 18-year olds are able to serve in the military and therefore should be considered mature enough to make their own decisions regarding tobacco.
As reported by Medical News Today, however, these opponents aren’t likely to get their way.
“As well as raising the tobacco-sale age, New York City council passed various other anti-smoking measures, including a ban on discounts for tobacco products, increased penalties for shopkeepers who evade tobacco taxes and a minimum price of $10.50 for a pack of cigarettes or cigarillos.”
We should know by know how the effects of smoking can ruin your health, the environment, and financial savings. Smoking costs money, costs you good health, and can cost your life. It harms the environment in addition to polluting your body. If you’re still partaking of tobacco products, it would be wise to stop now.
Fortunately, there are foods that can help ease the transition from tobacco addiction. Likewise, exercise and meditation are useful in battling nicotine cravings.