California Raises Smoking Age To 21, And As A Smoker, I’m Torn On This One


California fraternity men are going to have to change the way they do pledge packs.

Starting Thursday, California residents will have to be at least 21 years old to get their nicotine fix, whether their poison of choice is cigarettes, dip, chew, or electronic cigarettes.

I guess pledges will have to pool their money and give the cash to a 21-year-old initiated brother… unless they have a pledge brother in ROTC — military guys can still buy tobacco at 18.

From Daily Motion:

Under a new law that takes effect Thursday this week, smokers will now have to be 21 and older to buy tobacco products in California. Last month, Governor Jerry Brown signed a series of tobacco-related legislation that increases the state’s minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, regulates electronic cigarettes and restricts tobacco use in other ways. According to the law, military personnel with an identification card can still buy cigarettes if they’re 18.

I’m torn on this one. On one hand, I think that once a person becomes an adult, it should be up to them to put whatever they want into their body (short of meth and heroin and PCP). This is America, and if someone wants to slowly rot themselves from the inside out and knock a decade off their lifespan, that should be their prerogative. It’s what the founding fathers would have wanted.

But on the other hand, I started smoking at 18, and now I’m addicted as fuck. If I don’t blow down a heater once every two hours, I can’t even think straight. It’s bad. I wish I could quit. Live to see my grandkid’s wedding and all that jazz. But I don’t have the willpower. Not now at least. And it’s all because I was a dumbass high schooler who thought he was hot shit for smoking in the parking lot after class. This law won’t stop every 18-year-old Californian from chiefing boges, but it’ll help.

I still think the best way to curb juvenile tobacco consumption would be to legalize public weed smoking. That’ll give the kids the buzz they need. Too bad our political leaders are as scared of weed as they are rap music. Ah well. They’ll be dead soon. They grew up at a time when cigarette smoking was the norm, after all.

In other news, Ronny, the 25-year-old burnout who always posts up in the bus loop in his red jeep and camouflage hoodie, just bought 20 boxes of Marlboro 27s.

[via Daily Motion]

  1. fratstar570

    As someone who was addicted to dip for 8-9 years, nothing helped make me stop cold turkey than a close friend’s good friend from home getting mouth cancer. That and getting a new set of gums.

    8 years ago at 3:44 pm
  2. Steady dividends

    I’m surprised those godless progressives didn’t open it up to all ages

    8 years ago at 3:44 pm
  3. VandyConservative

    There’s nothing to be torn about. It’s not the government’s business to tell an adult what they put in their body (PCP and meth are a different debate because of their effects that are dangerous to others). Fuck the law, the politicians responsible, and the losers who think this keeps anyone “safe” as if losing your autonomy isn’t far more harmful to quality of life

    8 years ago at 3:45 pm
    1. Saber and Key

      While in essence I agree with the “paternalism is bad” stance, rarely are things absolutely paternalistic. In this case, for example, people who smoke are more likely to have a wide range of negative health outcomes (heart disease, lung cancer, etc) than the general population. While it may seem that their heart disease only effects them, it places a very expensive burden on the healthcare system, which, as we know, is typically not paid for entirely by the person or their insurance, and thus in many cases (especially those of poor people, who smoke at higher rates than their wealthier counterparts) our tax dollars are going to help Joe Smoker fight his heart disease.

      8 years ago at 7:17 am
      1. mosthonorableactive

        Fat people are just as unhealthy, but our efforts to reduce that (NY’s soda law, going after trans fats, making nutrition labels have even more information, etc.) have failed. You can’t legislate health. Cigarette taxes already create a black market. If someone really wants to smoke, they’ll smoke, only now a police officer can start bothering college kids for it instead of just high schoolers. Smoking has been on the decline for ages anyway, this is just more paternalistic bullshit from one of the shittiest governors in America

        8 years ago at 8:33 am
      2. Saber and Key

        I hope my comment wasn’t construed as agreeing with this policy; because I don’t. And I disagree that you can’t legislate health–you can with the right policies. This isn’t a good policy though. Part of the reason smoking is on the decline is because of legislation (warning labels, taxes, etc), and we owe a lot of health benefits to improved motor vehicle safety that was legislated (things like airbags, seat belts, etc).

        8 years ago at 12:46 pm
  4. Theta_Theta

    I agree that should be able to put what you want into your body but this bullshit half adulthood between 18 and 21 is lunacy. You can die for this country and vote but you can’t have a beer and a cigar with your dad ? Get the fuck out of here

    8 years ago at 3:47 pm
    1. SpanishFrat

      That’s one of the things we foreigners to the US struggle to comprehend more. Why can you drive at 16 but have to wait until 21 for drinking? Why not 18?

      8 years ago at 4:11 pm
    2. ZeteNJ

      You took exactly what I was going to say, nearly verbatim. Look if people think 18 year olds aren’t mature enough to choose to drink or smoke, fine. But that means, raise it all to 21. But if you’re going to saddle 18 year olds with adult responsibilities then they get all the adult rights too. BTW this is coming from someone well over 21 who thinks smoking (tobacco) is disgusting.

      8 years ago at 8:46 am
    1. Sundown96

      California is always pulling a bunch of shady shit like this, makes me sick

      8 years ago at 7:47 am
  5. Corn_Stretch

    This hits right during finals too. Pretty much everyone of our brothers under 21 bought a carton night before the deadline.

    8 years ago at 4:45 pm
  6. Jabba the PizzaHutt

    I’m not really affected by tobacco use in my everyday life so to that I say “You do you”, but can we PLEASE do something as a nation about the obesity crisis in America? Fuck, I’m so damn tired of seeing fat fucks everywhere I look!

    8 years ago at 4:51 pm
  7. Frat----

    I didn’t expect it to be this personal. While I think you should be able to take any kind of drug as an adult I do respect your desire to reduce the number of kids from being addicted

    8 years ago at 6:48 pm