King County Board Wants to Raise Tobacco Age to 21 STATEWIDE
Dumb idea, and it goes way beyond health reasons.
Various sources are reporting the King County Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Board (who?) are pressing the state legislature to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales to match that of alcohol.
Now before you think we're in favor of teen smoking, there are various facets to this. First of all, the last thing we need is another mandate from the side of the state that brought us the politicians who have created the billion dollar deficit in Olympia, not to mention supporting the disaster known as Obamacare.
This kind of thing has been tried in New York City. We kind of expect that there. But not here...well, maybe from the West Side.
We agree smoking is not healthy, that's not the point. But as Americans, and we have said this til we are blue in the face, we have the freedom to make choices - even bad ones. Personal responsibility. It's the same with motorcycle helmets as we've said before. Dumb not to wear one, but the state has no right to force you to. It's up to parents and guardians to warn and steer their children away from cigarettes etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If a person chooses to smoke, they run the risk of health issues. But it's THEIR right to choose to do so. And, only they are responsible if they end up like that lady in those horrible cigarette ads, Terri. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you. But, you DO HAVE the choice whether to do that or not. Period.
Nobody on some clueless committee has the right to tell people if they can or cannot, and one committee should not have the right to pressure or influence the legislature.
Numerous comments on Facebook posts made by the Board are blistering them for the idea. "How about we raise the minimum age for joining the Army to 21 and see how THAT works out?" said one poster. Another said, "Raising the age isn't going to make any difference - teens will still find smokes if they want them" said another.
Other people pointed out that if the tobacco age is raised, then raise the voting age, the age that you can purchase a home and mortgage, why not raise the driving age too? It's pretty clear people see it for what it is - another attempt to meddle in our lives by people who think they know what's good for us.
The committee tries to spin this by saying since you have to be 21 to buy alcohol or pot, then you should have to be 21 to buy tobacco. We disagree, for all the reasons listed above. Nice try, committee. Nanny state does not take precedence over personal freedom and responsibility.
Since King County thinks it has the right to try to pressure the legislature into what they think is good policy, how about Benton and Franklin, and Walla Walla, and Adams and Grant and Lincoln Counties press the legislature into passing laws to keep King and other West side counties from wasting our state tax dollars on stupid projects?
For starters, they got a highway tunnel over there they can't seem to get dug...and the price tag is skyrocketing. Or maybe all the millions wasted on the "light rail" projects that have never materialized? We could go on.