Cigarette Age Increase: It’s Garbage 

Olivia Bettorf
ombettorf@lc.edu

 

Let us start with the fact that Illinois just put down a bogus law for people who were born after 1998: they can no longer purchase any tobacco products. Yet, we can still vote, go into the military, or play the lottery. However, some people think this will be a good thing.

“Our youth will never start smoking or get addicted to such a nasty product and unhealthy habit.” No, Brenda. That is not how it works. That trick has never worked, given the fact there are teenagers who drink underage, and have been since the law passed in the mid 80s prohibiting those younger than 21 from drinking.

Truthfully, this only ticks off 18-20 year olds and they will find it very annoying that they now have to ask someone 21 or over for help buying the tobacco they have grown to enjoy after a hard day of work. 

“Then maybe they’ll kick the addiction if they have to ask for help and don’t want to bother those who can. And people wouldn’t help break the law.” NO! Again, incorrect. It is just harder and more bothersome to those not of age yet. And if an underage person has a friend over 21, it’s doubtful that the friend would even bat an eye at picking up a pack of cigarettes for them.

There is also the fact that people who use tobacco as a mind relaxer or stress reliever may not be able to afford a doctor’s mind-blowing fee to get a prescription. All because our governor thought it would be a good idea to have people cut back on cigarettes or other tobacco products and then raise the prices even higher. How does that make sense to anybody? What is the purpose?

Not a very good one, in my and others’ eyes. Just because you don’t like something does not mean everybody has to agree with you. I say, if I am old enough to decide what to do with my life, vote in any election, and play any type of lottery I choose, then I should be allowed to choose what to do with my body, including what I consume.

As mentioned before, underage people will surely find a way to purchase tobacco products as they were allowed to before, regardless of the law. While the lawmakers may say that we as classified adults are not allowed to do what all other adults can, the restrictions seem unfair and unbalanced.

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