The Legal Age for Purchasing Cigarettes should be Increased to 21

April 26th, 2011 13:09

According to estimates in 2006 about one-fifth of U.S. high school seniors smoked at least once in a month, down from nearly a third who did so in 1996. But in the past few years, that data has not continued its constant decrease. The drop in regular smoking among teen students has similarly decelerated, with rates at about 7% for eighth-graders and 14% for 10th-graders. Undoubtedly, signs in the lately surveys demonstrate that smoking among teenagers might be on the rise. No one can state why rates of smoking among youngsters haven’t continued to drop, or what to do in order to get them start falling again. Nearly all American students still obtain some anti-smoking education, and there have been no restrictions on tobacco advertising.

The price of cigarettes often an evident foreteller of a drop in youngsters smoking, continues to increase. However more than 40% of today’s high school student have tried smoking before they graduate, according to data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Probably anti-smoking education has as much as it can be forecasted to achieve. We should not stop it, of course. But we should find some additional strategies. The most important objective should be increasing the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21.

At present there is weighty evidence that smoking during early and mid-adolescence is far more likely to bring to addiction than is the same degree of smoking after the age 21. All these happens because the brain systems that are active when we feel pleasure are highly pliable during adolescence, and far more easily changed- usually for a long time – by exposure to various types of drugs.

Purchasing Cigarettes

After 21, the same brain systems are rather difficult to change, which is quite good news for those who haven’t smoked or drank, but bad news for those who by that age are already hooked on smoking. Several public health experts have demanded for graphic health warnings on cigarette packages- various pictures depicting diseased lungs, people with heart attacks and corpses.

A few researches in countries where similar warnings are required have depicted that these warnings may help motivate adult smokers who already plan to stop smoking. But there is no evidence that namely these warnings will prevent youngsters from tacking up the habit, and there are a lot of reasons to believe that they won’t produce any effect.

The problem is that many teenagers think that it is possible to smoke from time to time without becoming addicted, however more than a third of individuals who start smoking in juvenile age become regular smokers by the time they turn 18. The best way to realize this is by increasing the minimum legal purchase age for cigarettes to 21. At present, the majority of states set this age at 18.

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