Age Raise on Nicotine

Owen Martin, Reporter

Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, signed a bill into law that moves the age required to buy tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21 on Nov. 27, 2019. 

   Luil Graham, GM Health and PE teacher, believes that the age raise was necessary and it should have been enforced sooner. He said teen vaping has become a large problem and it should be stopped. When asked if this rule was fair in regards to those who are either 19 or 20 years old, he said that it was not. Graham feels that users of tobacco and e-cigarette products at this age should be eligible to purchase them. 

    As most of us know, those who serve our country get discounts and advantages as a form of respect and compensation. Another advantage has been added to the list. Veterans and service members who are at least 18 years of age are eligible to buy tobacco and nicotine products. Graham agreed with this. He thinks that those who served our country deserve the right to buy these products. 

   Fake IDs are big nowadays as kids find many ways to manipulate the system. Graham believes that fake IDs will still be in rotation after raising the age. He stated that teens will always try to get around these types of things regarding age restrictions. 

   Brands that produce these products are affluent and powerful. For example, Marlboro is worth $112.66 billion, and Juul at $24 billion. However, these companies’ values could drop substantially. When asked if these brands might lose money from this new law, Graham said the decrease in customers will lessen the income for cigarette and e-cigarette brands. 

    On December 20, 2019 President Donald Trump signed a $1.4 trillion spending package that raises the federal age from 18 to 21. This will be in full effect starting July 1, 2020, but some states like PA have already applied this law. The United States may be a different place in terms of smoking now that these changes are coming.