New Tobacco Law Affecting Teens

Cameron Wilson, Reporter

 President Trump signed a bill that raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 on Dec. 20. The legal age has been 18 since 1990. Not only will the new law cover cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, but also e-cigarettes such as vapes. 

According to the National Institute of Health, 37.3% of teens vape or use some form of e-cigarette. 

“I feel that [the new law] is good and bad,” senior Robert Andrews said. “It’s good because there will be less nicotine addiction, but it’s bad because people will get desperate.” 

Schools try their best to find vapes and keep them off campus, but some students still manage to sneak them in. Several of the bathrooms have been locked down due to smoking-related incidents.

“Regardless of what laws are already in place, people will always find a way to get their fix,” Andrews said. 

Freshman Devin Ferris does not think the new law will not be beneficial.  

“Making teens who have been smoking for a bit to stop cold turkey will cause more problems than them being able to slowly stop,” Ferris said. 

Minors get tobacco through illegal sales and from friends who have already purchased the products, although it is illegal to sell to minors across the nation.  

“I think bumping the age up was an incredibly smart thing to do,” an anonymous student parent said. “Kids, especially teenagers, are very susceptible to advertising, peer pressure and doing things they’re not supposed to be doing. Raising the legal age will cut back on teen addiction and accessibility.” 

Although the public age has been raised, enlisted members of the United States military can still purchase tobacco products.