Smoking has been a highly controversial issue ever since the surgeon general’s warning in 1965. Since the banning of cigarette commercials in 1969, tobacco companies have managed to keep in business without any problems whatsoever. And even though statistics related to smoking have dropped, the numbers of smokers among teenagers are still worrisome. So, Boston joined the cities that raised the legal smoking age to 21.
- The surgeon general issues his warning regarding cigarettes in 1965
- Before that, cigarette commercials were present everywhere, including in children’s cartoons, like The Flintstones
- All states raised their minimum legal drinking age to 21 in 1984
- 95% of adult smokers claim to have started smoking before they turned 21
The change will go into effect starting with the 15th of February, when the commercialization of cigarettes and other tobacco products will be banned for people under 21.
This decision made the Board of Health will add Boston to the 85 other cities throughout the state to adhere to the new policy.
By banning the sale of cigarettes, e-cigs, and all other tobacco products to people under 21, the city officials hope to get the numbers of young people who smoke to decline.
Of course, the issue is highly controversial. And of course it should be highly controversial. People have the right to talk, it’s their first amendment.
However, the thing most people tend to forget is that the entire affair started back in 1984, when the minimum legal drinking age was raised in all states under penalty of fines.
People apparently don’t like to think that this is the same situation.
The strongest argument against the raising of the legal smoking age is that if people are allowed to join the army, vote, and even run for mayor when they reach the age of 18, they might as well be allowed to smoke.
Even though it’s a very good and eloquent point, and it should definitely be given the proper consideration it deserves, the issue is that the same can be said about drinking.
So, as to avoid hypocrisy, if the citizens want to maintain the legal drinking age at 21, they should really reconsider the reasons why they want that more closely than before, because in general, cigarettes are much worse for you than alcohol, and a whole lot easier to come by.
What I’m saying isn’t that it’s right for the legal age for drinking to be lowered, nor am I saying that it’s wrong for the legal age for smoking to be raised.
All that I’m saying is that if most of the people are for one of them and not for the other, the issue speaks volumes about a country-wide level of hypocrisy that should really be looked into by the introspects among us.