Raise Smoking Age to 21 and Regulate e-cigs, Pediatricians Urge

smoking in vehicleMost people who smoke started in their teens. While the number of kids trying tobacco for the first time has declined since the 1970s, there are still new smokers every year and kids’ doctors want to do something about it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) came out with a strong new policy statement that urges policymakers to raise the minimum age people could buy nicotine products, be they cigarettes or e-cigarettes, to 21.

The public health benefits of barring people under age 21 from buying these products could be tremendous, including “4.2 million fewer years of life lost” among the next generation of American adults, according to a report released in March by the Institute of Medicine.

Setting a new minimum age nationwide, that study estimated, would result in nearly a quarter-million fewer premature deaths and 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer among people born between 2000 and 2019. Teenagers, especially those between ages 15 and 17, are most vulnerable to becoming addicted at a time when their brains are still developing.

The study, conducted at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, studied the predicted benefits of raising the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products — currently 18 in most states — to 19, 21, and 25 years. Read more on CNN.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. If the government says a person is mature enough to vote in the next president and or go to war and take a life at the age of 17-18. How can they say a person isn’t mature enough to drink and or smoke?

  2. Smokimg is most damaging to people who start 15-17, as far as I know smoking is already illegal at that age. Smoking is bad for you, but it’s not the governments job to restrict activities because they are bad for someone.

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