On Tuesday, a decree to boost the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 was voted unanimously amongst San Francisco supervisors. However, Thomas Briant, the executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets recommended San Francisco to delay the voting, according to CNN.
Briant claims the legislation should be delayed until the state attorney general takes a decision. He also states that 18-year-old citizens are viewed as adults when it comes to voting, signing a legal contract or serving in the military, and asks why it should be different from smoking. Coming up second to New York City, San Francisco has become on the second largest city to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products.
The legislation would include from cigarettes to rolling papers and even e-cigarettes. Following this chain of events, Hawaii and Boston also require people to be 21 or older in order for them to buy cigarettes or any other tobacco product. Hawaii being the first U.S. state to raise the smoking limit to 21.
The increase of the age limit required for tobacco buyers will discourage young people from buying cigarettes and it may help them from turning into heavy smokers, according to Supervisor Scott Wiener.
And to support his claim, Wiener counts with the results of a report from the Institute of Medicine where it was found that 90 percent of daily smokers started smoking cigarettes in adolescent years. The voted legislation, expecting to be revised and approved by the state attorney general is gaining attention nationwide.
It’s only a matter of time
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.
The discussion on whether the legislation should be passed or not is clearly a trending topic so far, yet the outcome of the voting remains to be seen.