Keeping them smoke-free longer
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.
| October 19, 2010; 7:26 PM ET
Categories: Maryland, health care, public health
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