Tobacco Age Limit Raised Under Smokescreen of $1.4T Spending Bill

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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10 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    This strikes me as one of those things that came out of nowhere. Who was clamoring for this?Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s been building for years. 19 states and 500 smaller jurisdictions, accounting for over half of the US population, had already raised the age for buying tobacco to 21. The cigarette companies have been their own worst enemies on this — discovery in legal proceedings came up with internal reports that said, basically, if the kids weren’t hooked before they turned 21 they were unlikely to get hooked at all.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    I hope that if there are any more Eric Garners out there selling to 20 year-olds, that they have this new law enforced against them too.Report

  3. Brandon Berg says:

    Remember when Congress had the decency to pretend to respect the Constitutional limits on their authority and went through the motions of using highway funding to bribe states to raise their drinking ages?

    I don’t, because I’m not old enough. But I bet Pepperidge Farm remembers.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I will take the point of view that this is generally good. Tobacco is a cancerous habit. We should lower the drinking age though.Report

  5. Chip Daniels says:

    I only note that this is an example of the turning wheel of culture I mentioned. The collapse of the political power of the tobacco lobby and the popular support for smoking is really amazing in hindsight.

    It didn’t just happen magically. It happened through a sustained and determined political lobbying effort that grew from a tiny minority to an overwhelming majority within a generation.

    We talk about this from time to time here, about how disconcerting this can be. Who knows which way the winds will shift, and what opinion or practice will find itself on the defensive next?

    But on the other hand, its not like cigarette smoking was just picked out of the thin air arbitrarily. It is obviously and irrefutably harmful, and really has no benefit to offset its damage.Report

  6. Kazzy says:

    Will drugs follow a similar route… illegal to sell but legal to possess?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

      I imagine that this will somehow result in high-end tobacconists being more-or-less left alone (given what age I imagine the cigar/pipe crowd to be) but the people who cater to the folks who just want a pack of smokes will end up having the law enforced disproportionately on them.Report