Attorney General Wants to Raise Smoking Age to 21
Wednesday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a plan to raise the minimum smoking age in our state from 18 to 21. Ferguson cannot himself propose legislation but apparently has legislators who have created a bill at his request.
Anti-smoking groups praised the idea, but other critics point out this will make a significant dent in state tax coffers. Washington state has one of, if not the highest, tobacco taxes in the U.S. Even bumping the age up just three years will see a significant loss in revenue.
Supporters claim children are exposed to tobacco advertising at an early age and are not allowed the chance to make an "adult informed" decision on whether to smoke. Critics say tobacco ads are confined to mostly magazines that young people don't read anyway.
Most of the comments posted at the KOMO-TV news website from Seattle were against Ferguson's idea:
Well... Ban it all together, ban nicotine, alcohol, gambling, Sugar, sex, driving, guns, knives, sharp objects altogether, carbs, social media, breathing, freedom, religion, weed, white out, canned whipped cream, vanilla extract, mouthwash, coloring your hair when pregnant... hell, getting pregnant without being screened as a good candidate for parenthood. Too fat, too skinny, too fit, too out of shape. Oh and ban soda and candy and koala bears."
Another poster said:
Thought WA loved the sky high tax they collect on this stuff. This guy is going to hit Olympia in the pocket book if this passes."
And finally, yet another person commenting made this argument:
So now we're back to the 1960s... 18 year old people are old enough to die for our country but not old enough to choose to smoke? If you are an ADULT, you should be able to choose ADULT things and be held accountable like an ADULT!"