Some news I came across today on pbs.org was pretty interesting to me. The article talks about the possibility that New Jersey may raise the smoking age to 21. They would be joining Hawaii as the second state in the U.S. to do so. I had no idea that it was already a law in Hawaii, and to be honest this possible move by New Jersey was a little shocking to me.
It’s kind of like the old argument about the drinking age in the U.S. being 21 as well. You’ll hear “At 18 I’m old enough to drive a car, old enough to vote in elections, old enough to join the military and fight or die for my country… but I’m not old enough to have a drink?”
I feel like the same arguments could be made in this possible new law as well. And I totally agree with those arguments. At 18 years old you are (likely) a high school graduate, going off to college, trade school, starting a career, whatever the case may be – the point is you’re at an age where you are making life decisions, adult decisions. I think it’s an old enough age to make the decision for yourself if you want to partake in cigarette smoking.
Obviously, as is stated many times throughout this site, I am against cigarette smoking. I am a former smoker and I have not had a traditional cigarette in years thanks to switching to electronic cigarettes. But regardless whether I think you should smoke or not, in terms of health or lifestyle, I do think that at the age of 18 you are old enough to make up your own mind on it.
Apparently Governor Chris Christie has until January 19th to rule on this proposal. What are your thoughts on this? Should the age be raised to 21 or should it stay where it is? If this proposal passes, do you think other states will follow suit?