Tobacco Buying Age Raised to 21


Randy Hansen, Centurion Staff

The Food and Drug Administration reported a new national law that will prohibit the purchase and possession of all tobacco products to any persons under the age of 21.

Pennsylvania was one of the 19 states to have already passed laws to raise the minimum age. Legislators in Pennsylvania also passed a law that will prohibit the possession of tobacco products on school grounds. This includes all tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and vaping products like e-cigarettes and Juuls.

Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Wolf, made it clear that this is an effort to keep the youth healthy and off of tobacco products.

Wolf said, “Raising the age to 21 in combination with barring e-cigarettes at our schools will help us prevent young Pennsylvanians from engaging in this dangerous behavior.”

For young people between ages of 18 to 20, this new law will strip them of their once given right to purchase tobacco, which directly affects some of the student body here at Bucks.

Timothy Hagen, 19, a student in the film program at Bucks and agreed that the law robs him of certain rights.

Hagen said, “I’m outraged that they didn’t make an exception for all the people who are already 18, 19, and 20-years-old, instead of just service members. I think this is a major breach of my personal right to life and liberty.”

According to the Center for Disease Control more students are smoking electronic cigarettes compared to cigarettes in 2018.

The CDC said, “More than 1 of every 4 high school students (27.5 percent) reported in 2019 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days.”

Some students at Bucks think that smoking tobacco products has become a problem. They think the new law is a great step forward in helping the younger generations.

Stephanie Kuhns, 26, is a mother and part time student at Bucks studying education.
Kuhns said, “I think it is great, being that it is going to prevent more children and people from starting an unhealthy habit.”

The new restriction on buying tobacco products has already improved in some areas.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “18- to 20-year-olds living in an area that had raised the age to legally buy tobacco products showed a 39 percent drop in regular smoking. The drop was even greater — about 50 percent — among those who had close friends who smoked when they were 16.”

Bucks has already put a restriction on where students can smoke, limiting them to only the parking lots for their Clean Air initiative.