U.S. Expected To Raise Tobacco Laws To 21

Ray Madrigal, News/Entertainment Writer

There’s a new law going around about how the United States is changing its tobacco laws. Before, in order to buy any kind of tobacco product such as, cigars, cigarettes, vapes, and e-cigarettes, you had to be at least 18 years of age to purchase them.

Now those laws are changing. The U.S. is raising the minimum age to purchase those products is no longer 18; you have to be 21 years old in order to get any of those products regardless of retailer.

Anyone who sales tobacco products will now be required to double check any identification to make sure they are not selling to a minor.

“The new law could be a good idea as the more responsible people will follow that law,” said freshman Gia Mendia. “But it could also provoke those between the age of 18 and 21 to find illegal ways to get tobacco.”

The FDA now has a guideline that retailers must follow and reasons as to why you need to follow this new important law.

First, it’s changes to make it less accessible and attractive to the youth and prevent any long-term smoking starting in young teens as 95 percent of smokers start below the age of 21.

According to the Southern Nevada Health District, about 1,900 teens in the state of Nevada smoke. Just about 480,000 deaths occur from the use of tobacco products.

“When you take a look at the numbers that people have researched, it’s surprising,” says Brandon Lopez, “I knew a lot of people were affected from tobacco but to see those numbers, raising the age is better.”

The Institute of Medicine reports that raising the minimum age will significantly reduce the number of teens and young adults who start using tobacco products at a young age and premature death. The Institute of Medicine also predicts that the age group who will benefit from the new law would be from teens 15 to 18 years old.

“I could see how other people would lie about not liking the products like vapes or cigarettes,” said freshman Nataly Munoz. “But the smell or the thought of the consequences after seem to bad. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to get near those things.”

Currently in Nevada, more than one in five high school students use some kind of tobacco product, whether it’s cigarettes, chews or even vapes; this new law should reduce that. Hopefully with the new law, not only just Nevada, but other states with the same law can lower the amount of teens and young adults who use these products.