Tobacco 21 Is Wrong

New tobacco law isn't going to change behaviors in younger teens

by Nathan Poteet, Web Designer

As of this year, the government has passed a Tobacco 21 law that is raising every state’s legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 instead of 18. Their reasoning behind it is to stop teenagers from smoking and vaping. But what they don’t realize is that they are taking away a basic American right for many people. 

High school teens were asked whether or not they support the new tobacco 21 law.

At the age of 18, men are forced to sign up for the American draft. So what the government is  saying is that the “of age” tennagers have no choice in throwing our lives away for this country if it comes to it, but those same people can’t have a cigarette?

On Dec. 5, 1920, America placed a prohibition on alcohol, which lasted less than 13 years. In the same instance, they saw the consumption of alcohol as an issue and completely removed it. It didn’t really seem to work. In fact, drinking became more common during this era. While there may not be a total prohibition on tobacco, the changes the government is hoping to bring about won’t pan out. While it does make it harder for minors to get tobacco products, it’s not impossible. 

Regardless of the reasons the government raised the tobacco purchasing age, they are still doing quite a bit of harm. Anyone who smokes in the age range of 18-20 could be going through very bad withdrawal symptoms. According to Medical News Today, withdrawal symptoms from nicotine can be very intense, and come in both physical and psychological forms. Medical News Today’s website says that the psychological symptoms that commonly occur in nicotine withdrawal include a craving for nicotine, irritability or frustration, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and mood swings, and the physical symptoms include headaches, sweating, restlessness, tremors, difficulty sleeping, increased appetite, abdominal cramps, and serious digestive issues.

The government doesn’t look outside of the problem, so in turn they are putting a bunch of people through withdrawal who should have the right to buy tobacco products like every other 18-20 year old who has been buying tobacco products for over a century. If the government was really worried about a nicotine epidemic, they would put a ban on it completely and end the problem from the roots. 

But they never will because the United States government loves money from their tobacco tax more than America’s youth. So what really is their goal here?