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Posted at 7:26 PM ET, 10/19/2010

Keeping them smoke-free longer

By editors

By Frederick N. Mattis

The Oct. 16 letter “Follow Maryland’s smoke signals” commended anti-smoking measures such as increased tobacco excise taxes, smoke-free workplaces and funding of tobacco-cessation programs. However, by far the most effective and fair way to slash smoking rates is to raise the legal age for tobacco purchase, in three one-year increments, from 18 to 21.

An estimated 90 percent of smokers start their habit before they’re 21. An age-21 legal limit would give an 18-year-old three more years of maturity, plus three more years of society’s anti-tobacco messages, before he or she is of age to legally (and easily) buy tobacco.

By editors  | October 19, 2010; 7:26 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, health care, public health  
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Ah, liberal control freakery, and libby logic. In libby la la land, 13 year old girls can have abortions without even parental notification, let alone consent, and now you want legal adults to not be able to purchase a legal product. Should you also take away their right to vote as well? You clearly don't think they are adults, except when it comes to women and abortion. Keep your laws off my body when it comes to abortion, but nothing else!

Liberal hypocrites. Control freaks. Banning everything you hate.

Posted by: scoran | October 20, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

scoran: I would totally agree with the sentiments of what you wrote - that at 18, an adult should be free to purchase what is legal for an adult to purchase.

But, I am a liberal, so I must be a controlfreak hypocrite. Like all those conservatives who want to ban private sexual practices... control freaks indeed.

Not a liberal/conservative fight, why you make it one?

Hate and illogic are human traits. These feelings and lack of thought know no political party, gender, religion or philosophy. Human traits are human.

18 = legal adult.
All rights and responsibilities due an adult MUST be recognized on the 18th birthday of all citizens.

So lower the drinking age, or raise the age of adulthood.

Abnd then make the privilege of driving restricted to 21 years or older.

Posted by: Greent | October 20, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't personally know one smoker who turned 18 and started smoking. They all began smoking at a much younger age so I'm not sure that raising the age to buy cigarettes to 21 would do any good besides putting another useless law on the books.

Posted by: tink712 | October 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

This might work in theory, but it isn't teenagers who start smoking, it's children 12 and under. Since we can't depend on retailers not to sell to children, I think it makes sense to put the responsibility where it belongs: on the parents of child smokers. Any parent caught allowing their child to smoke should face prosecution.

Posted by: momosity1 | October 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

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