The law to increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 starts getting effective on Thursday in Cleveland. Whether this tobacco law will help reduce the amount of young adults picking up smoking habits or not, lawmakers will have to wait to see if it works.

Even though the legal age to buy cigarettes has always been 18 across the United States, many states have addressed the current smoking outbreak in young adults by increasing the permitted age to buy tobacco. The law will be effective in Cleveland this week although the law had already been passed back in 2015 as late as December.

Cleveland will increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. Credit:

Nevertheless, businesses in the city of Cleveland will have to put up the new signs restricting them from selling tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. Considering the law will take plenty of people by surprise, it’s the stores’ duty to advertise the new ruling, which is set to make frequent smokers under the new legal age to buy cigarettes, pretty darn angry.

No one can sell, give or otherwise distribute tobacco products or alternative nicotine products to people having less than 21 years old, according to Cleveland’s Department of Public Health. The terms to check the person’s ID is also stipulated in the law passed last year, as it states every person looking to be under 30 years old must show proof of age. This includes driver’s licenses, valid passports or a photo ID issued by the U.S. government.

Tobacco law seeks to prevent people from picking smoking altogether

The new law is set not only to prevent young adults from purchasing tobacco products but also to stop possible smokers from ever picking up the habit. The Ohio State University College of Public Health recently released a report claiming that people rarely picks up smoking after they’re 21 years old.

Yet considering people between the ages of 18 and 21 are trapped in a sort of loophole, it’s possible for them to pick up vaping instead of quitting by force. Although vaping – which is the “healthier” option to smoking usual cigarettes – isn’t the same as tobacco, heavy smokers would prefer getting an electronic nicotine device before quitting.

Still, considering the tobacco law stating the restriction of tobacco products also includes alternative nicotine products and rolling papers, the e-cigarettes could also be out of reach for people under 21. Nevertheless, there’s vaping devices that lack the use of nicotine cartridges and allows users to search for what they want to put in the electronic smoking device.

For one, many people including the American Academy of Pediatric strongly support the legislation to raise the minimum age limit to buy cigarettes to 21 years old, which would help decrease the number of deaths accredited to tobacco use. It would also prevent high school students from buying cigarettes or any other tobacco-related product.

On the other hand, people old enough to vote or to go to war should be able to buy a pack of cigarettes from a clerk store. A possible solution to this problem could be raising the legal age to vote or go to the military to 21 years old, yet the solution would clear the path for another problem.

Source: The Wall Street Journal