BLACKFOOT– There was an outrage over raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Within the last ten days local people have been taking to social media to vent their frustrations with the new law. The law was signed as a part of a spending package for President Trump. Along with raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products there was additions of funding for gun violence research, the border wall, and other key items.
The American Lung Association was a little more positive in the reasoning for raising the age, "it is an easier way to protect children's health and prevent future generations from getting hooked on nicotine." Vaping advocates have supported raising the legal age for buying vape products because they were never intended for young people. The vaping industry has remained largely unchecked and by passing this law it helps regulate it.
Within the last year there have been deaths that have been linked to vaping, though the CDC has determined that the main cause for these deaths were black market THC cartridges which had an additive vitamin E acetate. Though this is not the sole reason for signing this into law, it is however a concern that had been raised by numerous companies.
Twenty states across the country had already raised the legal age for buying tobacco products before the law was signed. In 1990 the federal law mandated the legal age to purchase tobacco to be at least 18. Each state could choose to raise it or not.
This law has already impacted our area. A vape shop in American Falls had to close its doors within two days of this law going into effect. The age range of their clientele, and clients from Aberdeen, was below the 21 age limit.
There are a lot of people who are worried about the repercussions of this law. Many people have said this law will not stop young adults from smoking cigarettes or vaping. However, the law that was signed into effect will give the stores, seller, storefronts a felony for selling tobacco products to anyone under 21. The FDA will be answering some of the questions many people have regarding this law within the next few months.
Other people are worried about how this will effect young adults who are looking to quit. Many times the smoking cessation products are mirrored to the smoking age. There is a bit of a double standard for many people who say that young adults can be tried as an adult around the age of 18 as well as die for their country and yet smoking and alcohol are illegal for them. Many people are calling for a definitive answer for what makes an adult. However, this answer may never come because those who feel they are old enough to do some things, are unaware of the consequences of prolonged use or how it will effect them in the future.
The website drugabuse.gov has done research stating that teens who use e-cigarettes are thirty percent more likely to start smoking than non e-cigarette users.
Even though this law has floored many people in the area it is important to voice concerns in the right way. Read the laws that will impact the are and educate oneself about why certain laws are being put in place. Many times legislative representatives are unaware of the local feelings on certain laws, because the only place it is being voiced is social media. Take some time to get to know how the law processes work, and one might be surprised at the response.