If you are under 21 one years old, the law shouldn’t allow you to smoke. A new bill, introduced in the state of California, desires to raise the legal smoking age at 21 years old.
Smoking seems to have become a trend among very young teenagers, causing the desperation of their parents and not only.
State senator, Ed Hernandez has submitted a legislation that aims to increase the minimum legal smoking age in the state of California, from 18 to 21 years old. What prompted him to make this decision, has been a public health analysis, showing large growth of tobacco consumption, amid teenagers.
Senator Hernandez is an optometrist and has gained the support of several health associations, like the California Medical Assn., the American Lung Assn., and the American Cancer Society. Even though the bill stands for a noble cause, and has a strong medical support, tobacco companies might have something to say and interfere.
State officials, can no longer sit aside and watch how the tobacco industry is marketing this products to our children, and turns another generation addicted to their products, which would sooner or later, kill them. The tobacco industry is aware of the fact that addiction starts at an early age, and people getting the taste of cigarettes from a young age were more likely to become addicted, explained senator Hernandez.
Kimberly Amazeen, the vice president of the American Lung Company, from California, stated that, 40,000 Californians, are killed by smoking every year and 21,300 kids from California, start to smoke every year.
This data, should stand as the main reason, for stepping up and proceeding with the legal reduction of tobacco use among teens.
As there have been people showing support for the bill, there were also, the ones showing disapproval, and one of them would be, the spokesperson of the western regional Smoker’s Club, Robert Best. He stated, that he found ridiculous, the fact that the state officials in Sacramento, have no better things to do than to constantly attack smokers, as a minority.
The tobacco products firm, Altria, highly opposed, the state’s battle to modify the minimum legal smoking age. A study on the matter, will be conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine. The results on the public health and increasing the smoking minimum smoking age,will be reported to the Congress.
Image Source: Fast Company