At the beginning of 2018 any young adult who hasn’t turned 21 years old will no longer have the legal right to purchase tobacco. The bill was signed in order to reduce the smoking rate and also to discourage smoking from an early age.
Smoking rates have lowered in the last seven years with the enactment of tobacco restrictions. Although the rate is lower, smoking still kills 480,000 – 540,000 people in the US, every year. Combine car crashes, murders and deaths caused by drug use and they will not top the victims who die from smoking.
Reports have shown that by raising the legal age for smoking or consuming alcohol, prevents almost 223,000 deaths in American citizen who were born between 2000 and 2019. The report came as a result from a study based on mathematical models and saw that the smokers’ number would decrease to 25%.
The professor of health and law from the University of Virginia, Richard Bonnie, who also led the analysis, said that if the legal age is delayed, the young adult will be less likely to take up smoking, thinking more of their future and health than they would before that age.
Not only the higher legal age restricts young adult from buying cigarettes, but they will also be unable to buy them for their 15-17 years old friends, because most of them will live in different places (the 15-17 year olds in high school and those of 21 or older will be in college). Earlier they could have done that with their 18 year old friends, but now the 15-17 year olds will be in different social networks than the 21 year olds.
Not all laws are perfect and not all laws are always obeyed, but the evidence is there, high legal age for smoking and drinking can save lives.