Trump to Sign Bill That Raises Smoking Age to 21 Nationwide
This morning, President Trump announced via Twitter his intent to sign a massive defense spending bill that includes, among other things, hiking the legal smoking age to 21.
Our political system is imperfect and can be very confusing at times. It's not uncommon for a bill that begins as a focused solution for one specific thing to end up as a trojan horse for a bunch of seemingly unrelated stuff by the time it hits the president's desk. There seems to be a bit of that in play with the new government spending bill that Trump intends to sign, per his tweet this morning:
There are a lot of things in this massive spending bill, some of which had bi-partisan support (a rarity in today's polarizing political climate). Bills like this don't just materialize overnight, which is why I was so surprised that I had not heard so much as a whisper about one of its more interesting policies -- the raising of the legal age to purchase and use tobacco products.
The recent EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) issues and uncertainty surrounding vape products likely played a role in this decision, which will raise the legal age for tobacco sales and use from 18 to 21. Several sources are stating the law will take effect immediately, though some have also said the change will happen next year, and others are saying six months to three years. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
The rest of the country will now join the 19 states that have already raised the legal smoking age to 21. There's that old cliche about being old enough to die for your country but not old enough to drink. Well, you can add smoking to that gripe as well.
Sorry young or aspiring smokers, but trust me -- they're doing you a favor. It's a nasty habit that's tough to shake. It's best to not start at all. Take it from this guy: