Tag Archives: Tobacco Control

Cigarette

Raising The Smoking Age To 21 Is a Terrible Idea

California has raised the smoking age from 18 to 21, and jurisdictions around the country are following suit.

New York City and Chicago have already passed similar legislation, placing America’s three largest cities at the heart of a growing nationwide push for “Tobacco 21.”

This is a terrible idea. It treats 18 to 21 year olds — who are encouraged to work, vote, and fight for their country — as people incapable of making basic life choices. And it won’t even reduce youth smoking rates.

The legislation’s motive is can be found in a 2014 Surgeon General’s Report about the negative effects of tobacco on “young people” below the age of 21.

he report warns of the pressure teens face to smoke. “The tobacco epidemic”, the report states, “was initiated and has been sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the public on the risks of smoking cigarettes.”

Some people may be influenced to smoke. But the negative health impacts of smoking are now so widely known — they are displayed on every pack of cigarettes — that it’s ridiculous to assume the health consequences haven’t been considered.

Some people, young and old, evidently weigh the risks and choose to smoke despite the potential health effects. For those who are addicted, there are ways to get help.

Unable to understand this choice, the surgeon general’s report, and the advocates of “Tobacco 21,” have resorted to assuming that “young people” must be incapable of resisting the “indoctrination” of the tobacco companies. They are therefore calling for legislation.

But this attitude is completely inconsistent with how 18 year olds are treated, both legally and culturally.

Eighteen year olds help decide who governs the country; they pay taxes; they routinely take on potentially crippling levels of student debt; fight our nation’s wars; and if they commit a crime they are tried and sentenced as adults.

Surely they can be trusted to choose whether or not to smoke.

For all this coddling of young adults, raising the smoking age won’t do anything to reduce smoking rates among actual adolescents.

Read the full article at The Daily Caller.

E-Cig

How The New E-Cig Rules Hurt Americans

The FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

It is disheartening to see that the media’s near-exclusive focus while covering the Food and Drug Administration’s recent tobacco “deeming regs” has been on the provision that restricts e-cigarette sales to minors. The New York Times published an editorial entitled “Keeping E-Cigarettes Away From the Kids,” and the Huffington Post ran an article with the headline “Finally—Commonsense Protections for Our Kids From Tobacco.”

Most people agree minors should not have access to products that contain substantial levels of nicotine (and “substantial” is used because many foods contain trace amounts of nicotine). But, in focusing on this move, commentators are missing how the FDA’s new regulations will destroy 99 percent of an industry that offers an option the Royal College of Physicians finds is 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

The FDA’s regulations will force all e-cigarette products to go through the costly and time-consuming premarket tobacco product application process, a step that all but the big tobacco companies will not be able to comply with.

Read the full article at The Federalist.

E-Cig

Taxing and regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco is bad public policy

The argument that e-cigs are a gateway to tobacco is flawed. A recent study found that out of more than 9,000 11-16 year-olds surveyed, less than 2 percent had ever vaped, and almost all that had vaped had already smoked tobacco before. This year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that tobacco smoking continues to decline among American high school students, even though vaping has increased. It seems odd that lawmakers want to tax and regulate an activity that is weaning people off of tobacco, and to do so more stringently than tobacco itself in many cases.

There is scant scientific evidence on the long-term health effects of vaping. But studies have already proven that e-cig vapor contains significantly lower levels of toxins compared to cigarette smoke. The Food and Drug Administration is funding $275 million in research into e-cigs, but in the meantime they’ve said that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Similarly, the American Heart Association has stated that e-cigs “present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes.” And there are countless stories of people who have gone from being heavy smokers to just vapers by using e-cigs.

Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.