Should Montana Raise the Age for Tobacco Purchases to 21?
The movement across the nation to raise the age of legal tobacco purchases is gaining momentum. In today's world, the only people I would imagine who would publicly oppose this would be 18-20 year old's who use tobacco. It's hard to say no to this campaign without sounding like an advocate for tobacco use. Some are saying that 21 isn't high enough; that 25 should be the limit nationwide. Some estimates show that limiting the sale of tobacco to people over the age of 25 would cause a 16% decline in tobacco usage; as opposed to the 12% decline that limiting it to ages 21 and above would cause.
As a parent, I don't want my kid smoking, regardless of her age. I can't, however, expect the country to pass sweeping laws to take away her choices out of fear that she might make a bad one. My guess is that I am in the minority with that whole "It's a free country" mentality, and at some point, this will become reality. It's already a reality in New York City.
Click here for some facts about teenage tobacco use in Montana. The numbers have certainly declined since the 70's, but we're far from perfect, even with the restrictions we already have in place.