Congress Proposing Changing Legal Tobacco Age to 21

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  1. RJ Schwartz profile image91
    RJ Schwartzposted 8 weeks ago

    A bipartisan bill is being floated in the Senate today that would raise the legal age to buy tobacco across the nation to 21 - this would include members of the military, who to this point have been exempted from similar laws.

    Some say this is a direct attack on the vaping/e-cig industry and a veiled "protectionist" tactic for states that produce tobacco (since most of the hardcore users are older and will continue to smoke)

    Do you think this is just another Federal government over-reach?  Currently tobacco laws are handled by individual states.

    1. DoubleScorpion profile image78
      DoubleScorpionposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Coming from a smoker and seeing just how bad tobacco products can be for you and how hard it can be to quit once addicted...I am not opposed to this law, although, it really isn't going to stop younger folks from smoking...as, in my case, I started smoking long before I was legally able to purchase tobacco products..

    2. RTalloni profile image88
      RTalloniposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      The issues related to it are fairly large. Convincing children that their bodies are worth caring for, that they should be good stewards of their health for the right reasons, is one of the biggest issues because the underlying message, well, sometimes overt message, in society is that human life is no more important than that of a pet or a bug. If the root of the problem were addressed by adults willing to teach truth to children legislators would not see a need to address this because there would be no market for the harmful products, including vaping/e-cig products.

      1. GA Anderson profile image93
        GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        Are you equating legislators with parents? Say it ain't so Joe.

        GA

    3. GA Anderson profile image93
      GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Of course, it's an over-reach. Will they justify regulating refined sugar intake next? Would that be an over-reach?

      GA

      1. RJ Schwartz profile image91
        RJ Schwartzposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        The way things have been going in the Northeast, one might think everything is about to be regulated.

    4. Credence2 profile image81
      Credence2posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      This is one time that I agree with you, restrictions relatd to access to tobacco products apply to those under 18.

      I continue to express anger at those that insist on making those between the ages of 18 and 21 second class citizens. Old enough to risk their lives for their country, old enough to vote, but not old enough to decide to smoke or not? Totally ridiculous.

      And I also agree with you that the principle as a whole is federal overreach.

    5. crankalicious profile image92
      crankaliciousposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Interesting question. I'm generally not in favor of restricting the choices of adults.

      However, where do we stand on restricting how these companies advertise? Because we're not so much arguing about freedom as we are about regulating the tactics many companies use to convince children that smoking cigarettes (and other things - not just tobacco companies) are a good idea.

      Our society is so wound around advertising and "influencers" and other things, that the actual "choice" being made isn't quite as free as some would like us to think.

      We now know that smoking cigarettes kills you, but tobacco companies usually advertise their product as healthy or freeing or relaxing or whatever. Should they be able to advertise?

      Furthermore, people who smoke cigarettes are a drag on our economy in many different ways. They require more health care, for one. Dying is a punishment in itself, but we all pay higher insurance rates for various behaviors that create health problems.

      Should healthy people be given lower rates or should unhealthy people who engage in certain behaviors be penalized or not insured at all?

      If I'm an insurance company, why should I insure somebody who smokes?

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Disagree.  I see this as nothing more than a further attempt to eliminate cigarettes from the American landscape.  It is no different than the attempts to remove abortions, guns or other items - it is following in the footsteps of prohibition, merely using the "chip away" method rather than an outright ban (which did not work).

        1. crankalicious profile image92
          crankaliciousposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          Disagree with what? I think adults should get to choose what they do with their bodies.

          What I'm asking is what do we regulate when many of these industries target children with their advertising and are usually misleading?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

            LOL  Wasn't very clear, was I?  I disagree with the notion that an acceptable method of banning tobacco is to limit/ban advertising.  If you're going to ban it, then ban it, but I'm pretty fed up with the style of getting your way to ignore any required compromise and never quit trying to control what others do.

            But I have no problem whatsoever with charging smokers for health care that they caused to happen.  I'm not sure where that point should end, though - do we charge obese people more?  Those engaging in dangerous sports or jobs?  Those with a poor diet, or that do not exercise?

  2. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 8 weeks ago

    Guns, abortion, tobacco...the desire to control others and make them do what we think they should is never ending.  And if we can't have our way in forcing them to behave, if we have to compromise, then chip away for years until we do get our way. 

    Eventually the committee in the bowels of congress will control our every move - we will have no freedom and no choices to make.  A politician will do it all for us.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image91
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Makes you wonder what exactly is the driving force for one person to want to control another....money and power are the usual culprits, but in some cases I'm just not sure

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        Must...feel...superior.  Must...force...others...to live...right.  It is my moral duty to make others do what I think is right.

        Often rooted in religion (terrorism, control by the priesthood, the endless drive in the US to force Christianity onto everyone else) it is often just a feeling of moral superiority as well.  And, of course,  if you live the good life you will be a better person.

        1. PrettyPanther profile image85
          PrettyPantherposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Are you  in favor of decriminalizing all drug use for adults, then? I ask because I am now  in favor of doing so.

          This proposed law, however, is meant to control tobacco use among young people. It is just the age that people are arguing about, not whether it should be done at all.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

            I am not (in favor).  The reason, in my mind, that heavy drug use inevitably leads to crime - crime against someone else.  Were the effects limited to the user I would likely support it.  It is, in my thoughts, similar to allowing drunk driving or target practice in the backyard.

            The proposed law is to remove choice from someone that is deemed mature enough to volunteer to give their life for their country.  And that is unreasonable - it is just another case of the nanny state knowing what is better for the adults of the nation.

            (Won't go into just what an "adult" is; by law it is anyone that is 18 years old)

            1. PrettyPanther profile image85
              PrettyPantherposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

              I don't have any strong feelings one way or another on what the legal age for tobacco should be.

              The reason I support legalizing drug use is that the problems associated  with drug abuse are already illegal. It would still be illegal to drive under the influence, to neglect your kids, to steal to maintain your habit, etc.  in other words, if you partake of a drug without breaking other laws, then why should it be criminal?  If people can drink alcohol responsibly, they can partake of other substances responsibly.

              Anyway, I don't want to hijack the thread.  I was just curious about your views on this.

              1. MizBejabbers profile image89
                MizBejabbersposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                I think you have a good point. It is all a matter of government control. If drugs were legalized and readily available AND not so profitable, there might be less crime and fewer hungry children. Some people are just going to be addicts, whether it be tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s, and it ushered in an era that gave us the mafia who are still with us. Every time the government makes something illegal, it creates an opportunity for the criminal element to succeed.

                1. PrettyPanther profile image85
                  PrettyPantherposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                  I might disagree on the "readily available" part. Even if drug use were legal, I would still expect the manufacture and distribution of certain drugs to be prohibited, in the same way we have banned certain prescription drugs that were found to be too dangerous.  Jail the people who make and sell them, but not those who use them.

              2. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                PP, this is yet another of those very gray areas.  My problem is that drug use nearly always results in crime.  While some will drink and drive, almost all meth, coke, - the nastier drugs - usage will result in crime.  Some gun owners will kill, but at nothing like the rate drug users will violate crimes.

                It is that extremely high crime rate that is unacceptable.  Yes, some will happen with or without drug use, but it is nothing like the crime rate of addicts.  And that, IMO, means that it is unacceptable.

                1. MizBejabbers profile image89
                  MizBejabbersposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Yes, but most of the crimes are committed to get the money to buy the drugs.

                  Some countries, including Switzerland, Iran and China issue free methadone and needles to drug addicts.

                  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-swis … VI20101025

    2. MizBejabbers profile image89
      MizBejabbersposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Wilderness, I sadly have to agree with you on this one. One thing that bothers me is not exempting the military. (I don't approve of smoking, and I quit back in 1978.)  Kids will always find someone to buy tobacco products for them. The military should never encourage smoking, but the young people who are already smokers should not be forbidden to buy at the BXs and other places on base, especially in war zones. Smoking can be a comfort to the nerves.
      I'm certainly not advocating giving them free cigarettes like they did the soldiers in the Vietnam era. My husband, a veteran, now suffers from emphysema and is on nighttime oxygen. He said the military doled them freely then. He was a smoker before he went into the air force at age 18, and the free cigarettes probably added to his addiction.

 
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