LETTER: Is Raising The Smoking Age To 21 A Sign Of Hypocrisy?

According to Time Magazine, Hawaii is set to become the first state to pass a law banning the sale, use and possession of cigarettes and e-cigarettes to people under 21.

James Gruber of Washington writes in a letter to lehighvalleylive.com on the topic:

“I read in the paper recently that Hawaii will become the first state to move the smoking age to 21.  This will include the use of electronic cigarettes. Putting aside the obvious fact that the federal Food and Drug Administration has completely dropped the ball on electronic cigarettes being an unapproved drug delivery device, this legislation strikes me of deep hypocrisy.

“Apparently, a person of age 18 is old enough to operate a motor vehicle. That same person is also old enough to pick up a weapon of war and kill another person.

“But the legislative geniuses in Hawaii (and New York City) who proposed this kind of legislation feel that such a person is not old enough to know better about what they want to ingest into their body. At 18 they are old enough to operate devices that can kill others, but they are not old enough to operate a device that can kill themselves.”

Is there hypocrisy in raising the smoking age to 21?

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CDC: Teenage Use Of E-Cigarettes Tripled In Past Year

According to CBS, teenage use of electronic cigarettes has tripled in the last year in the U.S.  It is a trend that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “alarming.” E-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product among teens, states the CDC.

The CDC report found in 2014, 2.5 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes.

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High school students show the most dramatic change. From 2011 to 2014, e-cigarette use leaped from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent, while cigarette use declined from 16 to 9 percent, states CBS News.

“The news that cigarette smoking is at an all-time low is colored by the fact that we have seen the greatest explosion in the use of e-cigarettes that one could imagine,” said Matthew Myers, with executive director of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

(Updated post)

Adult Cigarette Smoking Is At An All-Time Low

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the percentage of adults who smoke in the U.S. dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013.

This information comes from new data published by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

That is the lowest prevalence of adult smoking since the CDC’s Nation Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965.

The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the U.S., the CDC said in a press release.

“There is encouraging news in this study, but we still have much more work to do to help people quit,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

“We can bring down cigarette smoking rates much further, much faster, if strategies proven to work are put in place like funding tobacco control programs at the CDC-recommended levels, increasing prices of tobacco products, implementing and enforcing comprehensive smoke-free laws, and sustaining hard-hitting media campaigns,” he said.

http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/emory/2014/11/28/smoking-all-time-low/19605983/