If you enjoy indulging in any activities that include tobacco and you are under the age of 21, chances are, your fun may be short-lived.
The Tobacco 21 law was approved last year after legislation was passed that raised the age limit on the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes.
It has been an ongoing debate throughout the United States when it comes to raising the age limit from 18 to 21 years old for purchasing tobacco products. To some Floridians, this is a great thing considering all of the health issues that surround the consumption of tobacco. But there are also some who are against this new societal change.
“Either someone else buys them for me, or I’ll go somewhere else that’s not gonna ID me,” said Allera Jones, a 19-year-old freshman at Florida A&M who is a regular marijuana smoker. “I may use a Backwoods today, and a Game Leaf tomorrow.”
The law was passed by both houses of Congress and went into effect immediately after President Trump signed the bill into law on December 20, 2019.
Jones said that during the Christmas break she got turned down for purchasing cigarillos due to her not meeting the newly established age. “[Tobacco 21] is basically a waste of time due to the fact that people who are 18 and up probably smoke weed. They’re losing a lot of customers by not letting people that’s not younger than 21 buy tobacco products,” she said.
Tobacco comes in many different forms such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, vape pens, hookah pens, and traditional smokeless tobacco. It can be consumed through smoking, chewing or sniffing. The American Lung Association has advocated for the higher age limit for the sale of tobacco because it says it will help save lives.
According to Tobacco Free Florida, “Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It causes more than 480,000 deaths each year. In Florida alone, cigarette smoking is responsible for 32,000 deaths every year.”
While the Tobacco 21 law is designed to minimize the consumption of tobacco by people who are now under the age of 21, it does not sit well with everyone.
When asking a local Tallahassee gas store clerk who requested anonymity about the new law, with he said, “If they are old enough to be enlisted into the Army, they should be old enough to buy tobacco.”