U.S. Considers Raising Smoking Age to 21
While the FDA considers the fate of vaping in the United States, another tobacco-related issue has risen, and frankly we think this one is much more important than restricting the rights of people who are trying to quit. A group of doctors is pushing the U.S. government to raise the age where it is legal to buy tobacco products to 21. States such as Hawaii and major cities such as New York, along with about 90 other smaller localities have already instituted such laws.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that raising the legal smoking age to 21 could do a lot to curb that.
“Tobacco use continues to be a major health threat to children, adolescents and adults”, said Dr Karen M. Wilson of the AAP said in a statement.
We think this could be a great move, as anything that could lower smoking rates among children would be. Unfortunately, the AAP does seem to be joining other organisations who prefer to demonize vaping before significant, long-term research has been done, and in addition to raising the smoking age, they are asking that e-cigs be regulated like all other tobacco products. When will many members of the health community realise that many people have chosen to use vaping as a means of quitting combustible cigs? Just like raising the smoking age to 21, vaping could be treated as a means of harm reduction for the general public, so it seems counterintuitive to be pushing for one thing and against the other.