Should massachusetts raise the minimum age to buy tobacco-related products to 21_ – the boston globe

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The legislation also appropriately aligns the legal age to purchase tobacco with those of alcohol. Advertisement Studies show that 90 percent of smokers began the habit by the time they were 19. The undeveloped teenage brain is extremely vulnerable to the highly addictive chemicals of tobacco, which increases the likelihood of lifelong addiction. The distribution source to 15- to 17-year-olds typically comes from their 18- to 20-year-old peers; therefore increasing the age to 21 will be a significant obstacle to access.

The argument that those who serve in the US military should be able to purchase tobacco may merit some additional discussion. However, smoking brings no value to the thousands of young men and women defending our great nation who serve with honor, pride, and dignity. To complain that you can serve in the military at 18 but can’t smoke, I believe, discredits their service. I congratulate Mayor Martin Walsh and the City of Boston and the approximately 80 cities and towns of the Commonwealth who have adopted local T21 policies in their communities.

The time is now to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 statewide, protecting the next generation — our future — from a harmful habit that will affect their health and well-being forever. NO Geoffrey Yalenezian Chief executive of Brennan’s Smoke Shop Inc. in Brockton, Pembroke, Plymouth, Raynham, Taunton, and Wareham handout Geoffrey Yalenezian Our society has deemed an 18-year-old mature enough to make some of the most important decisions faced by citizens.

At 18, one can vote for president or mayor, and even be elected mayor. At 18, one can serve in the armed forces, and make the commitment to take on debt and repay it. But some Massachusetts politicians and health officials think 18-year-olds are too young to make the personal decision whether or not to purchase and use a legal product. Advertisement Admittedly the civil rights argument is an old one when it comes to regulating adult products. But what is most shocking is how quick health officials and the media are to dismiss it, as though the frequency of an argument somehow reduces its significance. Is it any wonder why politics and policy-making in our nation are in shambles when we show so little regard for the foundation on which this country was built?

So, an 18-year-old can be elected to run a city, and can help elect the person who will protect us from crime and terrorists, ensure the strength of our economy, and spend our tax dollars. But that same young adult cannot choose to use a legal product? Any argument to the contrary is spurious at best. Look at the “one must be 21 to purchase alcohol” argument for a moment.

The fact is, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control shows that 10.3 percent more high school students use alcohol than tobacco, and a 2014 CDC report said tobacco use among this age group was at its lowest rate in the 22 years the agency has tracked it. If we are sincerely worried about bad choices, and politicians and health officials really want to prevent youth from using tobacco, then address youth behavior, not adults who have a right to make major decisions for themselves. One place to start would be to make it illegal for those under the age of 18 to possess and use tobacco products – two glaring loopholes in Massachusetts laws that health officials never address. It’s too easy to keep blaming 18-year-olds, retailers, and tobacco companies. Last week’s Argument: Should the state limit the number of patients hospitals can assign to any one nurse?

Yes: 86 percent (125 votes) No: 14 percent (21 votes) Should Massachusetts raise the the minimum age to purchase cigarettes to 21? As told to Globe correspondent John Laidler. He can be reached at laidler@globe. com. Don’t miss any of your favorite stories again. Read the stories that matter to you as much as you want, whenever you want when you subscribe to BostonGlobe.

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