Why the Tobacco 21 proposition is vital for preserving peoples health

Lilly Henkes, Staff Writer

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Senator McConnell has recently announced that he will be supporting a legislation that will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. Though McConnell is from Kentucky, the nation’s second largest tobacco producer, he is motivated to push for the legislation due to increasing rates of vaping among teens. The proposition to raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21 is called “Tobacco 21.”

Big tobacco and e-cigarette manufacturers, such as Juul, support the decision to raise the legal age to purchase all types of tobacco products. Altria, the owner of Marlboro, has also claimed that they are “fully committed” to be part of any goal of Tobacco 21. Some proposals for Tobacco 21 include banning certain flavors and the regulation of tobacco and e-cigarettes. To further prevent stores from being fined for selling product to minors.

People who are already a part of the anti-smoking community fear that with the bill that McConnell is making, could in some way affect the actions already being made in programs for the protection of the youth from smoking.

Generally, the proposition will be beneficial in helping decrease the rate of teen smokers. On the other hand, Luiza Lamkin, sophomore, believes that “changing the legal age to purchase tobacco won’t fix anything, people will still find ways to get around it like they do with everything.” While Abby Wintringer, sophomore, says that “this will be good because I think that cigarettes and vaping is disgusting and nobody should do it.”

Photo via howstuffworks