Tobacco Law annoys young users

Nikolas Martin and Yasmine Cruz

As the new tobacco law raises legal buying age to 21, many young smokers have become more and more vocal about their thoughts on it. The Calumet went out and spoke to four of them to hear what they had to say.

Mason McCulley, 20

What are your thoughts on the new law change?

“I think there’s smarter ways to go about it if they were gonna put an age restriction on it. There’s other ways around it. People will still do it, but now they have to have other people buy it for them, so in a way it sorts of promotes illegal buying of it. It’s the same thing with alcohol now, a lot of underage people get it, they just need someone old enough to buy it. It’s also not illegal for us to use it (tobacco). Like we (people under 21) can still use it, so why are we not just allowed to buy it?”

Do you think it’s bad or unfair to people that are at least 18 but under 21?

“It kinda defeats the purpose of it when I’m still allowed to use it, so yes. I think that they should have had a grandfather clause or something with it. Not only that, but there’s also some kids that actually deal with addiction, and that can really mess with someone, and they’ll go out and get it anyway they can. So overall I just don’t get why it happened in the first place.”

Do you think that any good can come out of it?

“Tobacco might be used less in the younger age groups since it’ll be harder for them to access it now.”

Braden Chick, 19

What are your thoughts on the new law change?

“I think that it is very unfair to take rights away from people. The age to be an adult is 18, if that’s going to be the age (to be an adult) then I think tobacco and alcoho

l should be the same. A common argument made is if you can go fight in a war and serve your country, you should be able to drink a beer or buy a pack of cigarettes. So I think that while there might be some good to what they’re doing, it’s hypocritical and unfair.”

What types of good do you think can come out of this?

“I think the law change is great for lowering the number of teenagers that are smoking and vaping. I believe this will ultimately be for the greater good because this vaping epidemic is out of control, but personally I don’t support it because I think it is restricting our rights. I think it’s wrong to strip people of that.”

If you’re under 21 you’re not allowed to buy tobacco products, but adults under 21 are still allowed to possess tobacco products, do you have any thoughts on this?

“I think that just creates a fuzzy area that needs to be cleared up. Whether that’s from the federal government or the state government. I don’t think there should ever be a law like that with that fuzzy area.”

Shane Palmer, 17

What do you think of the new law change about the tobacco buying age?

“It’s pretty idiotic to me. How does it make sense to raise the age, like what were they hoping to accomplish? Raising the age won’t change anything, if anything it’ll just push people to head to Illinois for bud. Plus, teenagers can just get someone older to buy them whatever they need.”

How does this affect you?

“Well, I’m turning 18 soon so that kinda just messes with everything. Like, I’m gonna turn eighteen and all I’ll be able to do is go and fight for this country. I can’t smoke or drink, only die.”

Do you think any good will come out of this?

“Depends on what you mean by good. Those who just turned 18 or are about to turn 18 are just gonna look to other methods of getting what they want. It already happens, teens are already getting older people to buy stuff for them. It’s just gonna happen even more.”

Brandon Gamon, 18

What do you think of the new law change about the tobacco buying age?

“I think it’s really dumb for them to do that. First off, do these people even realize how stressed teenagers are nowadays? Alcohol is much harder for us to get ahold of since you need someone who is 21, but you only need someone who is eighteen to get pods and cigarettes. Smoking is literally how we keep calm and get through the day, but now they gotta take that away. It doesn’t make sense though, that we can’t buy it, but we can still be in possession of it? What were they even thinking?

How does this affect you?

“Well I just turned eighteen, so the fact that I can’t even buy my own pods now, really pisses me off. Turning eighteen means nothing now, like you can join the army but you can’t enjoy a damn smoke? It just doesn’t make sense.

Do you think any good will come out of this?

“Honestly, no. Just like with alcohol, teenagers will just find someone older to buy what they need. It’s not that hard, especially if you can rely on family to get it for you. All this is gonna do is make teenagers seek out someone older who can do the buying for them.