21 to Drink, 21 to Smoke in Columbus, Ohio (Opinion)

The City of Columbus recently approved legislation banning local businesses from selling tobacco products to any persons under 21 years of age. I disagree with this policy for a few reasons.

First off, the simplest of arguments. When someone is 18 years old they are considered an adult. They can serve in the military and buy adult magazines. Despite how much we would like to think of them as children, they are indeed young adults. Also, this is going to do nothing to stop people under the age of 18 from smoking. They will still be able to buy cigarettes from local shops that don’t card.  The city will spend needless amounts of money trying to ‘crack down’ on establishments that sell cigarettes to people they literally may have just legally sold cigarettes to just months prior.  It will be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Again this is an example of trying to control behavior through law.  It has been proven time and time again not to be an effective method.  Not to mention it ignores studies by the CDC that clearly illustrate that smoking in young people is way down just in the last few years alone.

Finally, the purpose of this legislation is to improve the health of young people. Once you are 21, however, you are on your own.  I say this, if you can serve in our military, you should be able to smoke a cigarette and drink alcohol. Period.


-Matt Ward



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