Letters to the Editor

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SMOKING: Raise smoking age to 21

Letter by Michael Brian Kelly, Federal Way on July 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm with 29 Comments »
July 21, 2011 1:17 pm

It is said that if someone doesn’t start smoking by the time they are 21, they probably never will. So why not raise the smoking age to 21?

The money saved on treatment of smoking-related illnesses and on cessation programs could be used to beef up enforcement of such a law. Enforcement should be directed against stores that sell cigarettes to those under 21, against straw purchasers who provide cigarettes to them and against underage smokers.

I am assuming that the state wants to reduce smoking, or is it addicted to tobacco tax revenue generated by teen smokers?

Leave a comment Comments → 29
  1. stetsonwalker says:

    Perhaps we need to raise the age of people writing editorial letters to 5 years older than you. It seems you have not reached the maturity level yet to truly understand we have a nation of choice amongst adults.

  2. cclngthr says:

    I doubt that policy would be enforceable. 12 year olds smoke with no consequences now.

  3. stetson, you have no room to talk.

  4. End fedeal tobacco susidies, and treat people who give minors taboacco products the same way we treat perople who sell or give miors alcohal.

  5. itwasntmethistime says:

    I can’t see what good smoking does anybody of any age, HOWEVER, it seems ridiculous to prohibit someone from smoking at age 18, yet allow them to fight in a war. We’ve got to get this age thing worked out. Are 18-20 yr olds kids or adults? They can vote, they can die protecting our freedoms, but they can’t have a beer.

  6. Hey Stetson? We also have free speech too. But in your case, I’m sure we’d make an exception.

  7. The good that smoking does is that smokers pay a hefty sin tax which lowers my tax burden.

  8. stetsonwalker says:

    My point was, we as a society have decided that at the age of 18 you are a responsible adult. Now there is nothing right about pulling back on that and saying…except alcohol, smoking….and whatever would be next. We expect the 18 year old to make good decisions and not rob a bank, or he will go to prison as an adult. If he joins the military, we expect him to honor his oath while under fire and do what is right or he will face the same consequences as an adult. No we either have a child or an adult. An adult that can responsibly go to the beer garden and belt one down while he chats with you, and we will expect he will behave as an adult. As well as if he wants to pull out a Camel, he should be able to do so!

  9. LarryFine says:

    How about sueing the federal government for all the money it “profits” from the manufacturing of tobacco products ?

  10. Michael Brian Kelly,You answer your own question. This law is 1 of the dumbest ever! Why create a law but not enforce it, this law has not stopped a thing and it never will.

  11. The last time I smoked, I paid about 40 cents a pack….the last time I saw a cigarette advertisement my jaw dropped…..not at the price, but the knowledge there are people dumb enough to pay such a price!

    Sheesh! a pack a day habit comes out to more than my car payment!

    Gives a whole new meaning to “there’s a sucker born every minute!” — no pun intended! ;)

  12. itwasntmethistime says:

    How are the sin taxes collected from cigarettes appropriated? I thought they pretty much went back to smokers, in the form of medical bills. If that is right and the cig taxes are used to pay for health care for indigent smokers, what would happen if smoking was suddenly outlawed and we still had millions of unhealthy ex-smokers to care for?

    Egads! Another ponzi scheme!

  13. itwasntmethistime says:

    And by the way, cigarettes are $8.50 per pack now. It bothers me that most smokers are in the lower income brackets. If you are holding a cigarette don’t bother telling me about your money problems.

  14. Omega6234 says:

    Smokers arent real people anyway. They are gross second class citizens most of the time. Doesnt Obama smoke??? hmmmm.

  15. The federal cigarette tax ($1.01 per pack as of 11-09) funds the State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (S-CHIP).


    The Washington State cigarette tax ($3.025 per 20 pack, $3.78125 per 25 pack):
    17% ($0.515 / $0.645) goes to the State’s Education Legacy Trust Fund,
    83% goes ($2.059 / $3.13625) goes to the State’s general fund.


  16. MarksonofDarwin says:

    I love the fact that those who claim to be champions of the poor and downtrodden always….always ….end up showing themselves to be insipid moochers who would rather have someone else pay their way.

    Never fails…

  17. M_O_D,
    The right wing mooch just as much so have a seat and start spinning.

  18. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Not spinning anything xring.

    Just a casual observation….and it’s absolutely true.

    Who said anything about Team Red! or Team Blue!

    Have fun demonizing…..I’m off to work.

  19. M_O_D,
    “those who claim to be champions of the poor and downtrodden always….always ….end up showing themselves to be insipid moochers”

    Hay, it’s the right that is always beating their gums about how lefties should feel free to donate more money to the state.

    And since both side smoke, I willing to let them donate extra funds.

    PS: I feel the same way about drinkers, and people who drive gas hogs.

  20. it seems ridiculous to prohibit someone from smoking at age 18, yet allow them to fight in a war

    Tobacco industry saw a big jump in profits after WWII – it seems those free ciggies they gave to the troops had a lasting impact…..

  21. itwasntmethistime says:

    Well, there is another way to look at this. Since lower income people don’t pay any income tax, this is one way they can pull their weight!

    I personally don’t care how high the taxes are on cigarettes, because nobody has to pay it if they don’t want to. If you don’t want to pay it, don’t smoke. I’ve seen plenty of people decide they didn’t want to smoke anymore and just quit, cold turkey, so I know it can be done if you really want to. Like xring, I feel the same way about drinkers and people who drive gas hogs. If you must drive an enormous pickup truck because once a year you need a load of beauty bark then don’t cry to me.

  22. Let face it folks.if it wasn,t for the people buying cigarettes and paying those high taxes,guess who the taxaholics would come after to get the money they no longer received from the smokers?John and Jane Q Public.I am very glad I never smoked and can see if I had aquired the habit, I could no longer afford the luxury of being able to smoke.I do not think the Government is very serious about getting people to quit as this cash cow would be hard to replace

  23. Albert Gore Sr. (D-TN) financed his (and his son’s) political careers with funding from his tobacco farm, and industry lobbyists. Obama smokes.
    We’re leading by example now…

    Now, on to genetically altered produce and “factory food” (MSG, Red #-5),
    cancer? insurance rates for users? Never mind…

  24. Lars,
    Ike Smoked.

  25. Since lower income people don’t pay any income tax, this is one way they can pull their weight!

    That’s what the lottery/lotto is for.

  26. It is interesting somebody can easily ‘flag’ a comment and have it removed. Fortunately, another posters stated the essence of my comment. I do not smoke! I never smoked! I do not believe smoking is healthy for any person.

    However, I still believe anybody who is old enough to serve their country in the armed forces is entitled to drink and smoke. Society should not limit their freedoms.

    I grew up in an era when drinking laws were 18. We have laws but underage drinking is out of control. Adult drinking is out of control.

    However, if society allows 18-20 year old men and women to enlist in the US military, then those kids should be allowed to consume both alcohol and smoke.

    Sometimes enlisting in the military is not the wise choice for an 18 year old. Maybe his or her maturity level and expectations of military life are not well founded. Is he or she mature enough to engage is warfare?

    My point, if you are going to allow underage youths (18-20) to enlist in the military, then they should be allowed all the choices of an adult (21+).

    If you do not like what I have to say, then rebut the statement- Don’t Flag It!

  27. ItalianSpring says:

    Sounds good. Let’s raise the age limit for smoking medical marijuana as well. Well actually smoking in general is bad, the libs have proven it, so why not ban ALL smoking of anything.

  28. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    This is cool. Someone who can ‘conceive’ of such a silly idea can type something like that and send it in and get published. I wonder if Mrs. Johnson in home room gave him a gold star and a pat.

  29. x- sez –
    “Ike Smoked.”
    As did FDR…..your point?

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