New Tobacco Laws Passed In California: Minimum Smoking Age Is Now 21 Years Old, E-Cigarettes Banned In Public Areas
18-year-olds can't legally buy tobacco in California starting yesterday. A new legislation signed by California Governor Jerry Brown changes the minimum smoking age from 18 years old to 21. The move to cut smoking doesn't end there as a new law was also passed that disallows e-cigarette smoking on public areas.
The said laws are projected to decrease the population of smokers. According to Institute of Medicine as per USA Today, if all states change the minimum age to 21 years old, the smoking U.S. population would be reduced by 12 percent.
Aside from banning e-cigarette smoking in public places, vapor products would be classified, from now on, as traditional cigarettes (via USA Today). The new regulations are also celebrated by health advocates who had continuously warned about the danger of e-cigarette smoking.
Parent Herald reported a CDC study that found out increased exposure to e-cigarette smoking ads and stores leads nonsmokers to start smoking at an early age. According to another Parent Herald article, e-cigarettes are also dangerous to health as it contains nicotine and is a threat to children who can get poisoned from exposure to them.
As per Independent, e-cigarette supporters, however, are not in favor of the new rules. According to them, e-cigarettes are a safer alternative and the new restrictions would just further increase the stigma against e-cigarette smoking.
On the positive side, the bills were backed by advocacy group, Save Lives California, as reported by USA Today. Save Lives California is composed of medical practitioners including members of American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and California Medical Association. According to the coalition, the bills pertaining to smoking that the government passed "protect our kids" and "stand up to big tobacco."
California is the second state to raise the minimum age of smoking to 21 years old. Hawaii raised its smoking age to 21 on January 1 of this year, banning 20-year-olds and younger to buy tobacco, including e-cigarettes. The bill aims to make e-cigarette "less attractive" and "less accessible" among Hawaii residents (via USA Today College).
Do you think that increasing the minimum age allowed to purchase tobacco would cut down smoking in the U.S.? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below and follow Parent Herald for more news and updates.