Smoking might be banned for teens in Colorado after a bipartisan group supported a proposal that will probably be introduced next week. The proposal will make the age limit for smoking tobacco higher; the age limit will be increased from 18 years old to 21 years old. This bill will apply to cigarettes, electric cigarettes, tobacco vaporizers, and smokeless tobacco. Senator Steve King said that people have to be 21 years old to gamble. He also says they also have to be 21 years old to drink as well smoke marijuana. He then asks why people are not being consistent with tobacco. Many other states want to do the same but none of these states have taken any action on the idea. Some states did set the age for smoking at 19.
People who are between the ages of 18 and 21 would be exempt from the bill because the bill would not got into effect until people who are now 17 turn 21. Beth McCann, the leader of the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, said that tobacco is as harmful, and possibly even more harmful, as alcohol or other dangerous substances. It is too early to tell if the bill would make Colorado lose money from the state’s tobacco tax or if it will be added to their tax receipts by increasing fines. Cigarettes in Colorado are taxed at 84 cents a pack, which is below the national average of $1.53 a pack.
The number of smokers in Colorado who are under 21 years old is unclear. A paper published by the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine last year said that smokers who have their first cigarette by the age of 18 is 9 out of 10 and about 90 percent of cigarettes that are bought for minors are purchased by people between the ages of 18 and 20. Local smokers did not agree with the idea that smoking might be banned for teens in Colorado. Darlene Sandoval, who smokes about half a pack a day, said that people might be able to be stopped from purchasing cigarettes from the store, but they are not going to stop them from smoking.
Another smoker, Jason King, who has been smoking for 40 years, said that they should ease up on the smokers. Senator Vicki Marble agreed with the smokers by saying that if people join the military by age 18, then they should be allowed to smoke. She also says that the adults are old enough. Colorado is not the only state to look at banning smoking for those under 21. Some states in Europe and the United States may make smoking with children illegal. The ban may also affect Canada and Australia. In Europe, an amendment may be added to the Children and Families Bill. The House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament, looked at the bill on January 29, and if it is not passed then it will be included in the manifesto at the next election. Smoking in public spaces such as the workplace is already banned in Europe.
Future teenage smokers may have to give up their cigarettes after a bill was brought up that bans smoking. Smoking might be banned for teens in Colorado if the bill is passed. The bill will raise the age limit on smoking from 18 to 21; this bill includes electric cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigarettes and tobacco vaporizers. The state may also pass another law related to smoking; the law would ban the sale of electric cigarettes and other nicotine delivery systems to people under the age of 18. That bill is waiting to be heard in the Senate.
By Jordan Bonte