Left, Right & Independent

How old should you be to buy cigarettes?

Babatunde Ojo (Democrat)

Governor Christie said that the increase in age will give young people more time to develop maturity, but this contradicts what being “adult” means; someone capable of taking on responsibilities for their actions.

At the age of eighteen, young adults can already legally vote, own land, buy a home, watch any adult film they want or even enlist in the army. Most teenagers should already understand what is “good” or “bad” for them, so it seems like Gov. Christie is acting as an overly protective mother.

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and this is only made more apparent with how the annual percentage of people smoking has dropped significantly since 2005 (according to an article posted by the Washington Post).

I remember watching television and there being multiple anti-smoking commercials that showcased what can happen to people who overindulge in the act. Add this on top of the vaping trend, and it appears people are more aware of the dangers of smoking than ever before. I do not agree with Gov. Christie’s decision because it insults young adults’ intelligence and hinders their freedom of choice.

Beshoy Shokralla (Independent)

Issues of age restriction have plagued politics since their very inception. How old do you have to be to engage in the consumption of something that is known to cause major health risks to only you? Well in New Jersey, the government is moving up the age you have to be in order to buy cigarettes.

On one hand, the government has a job to protect minors from addictive and harmful products, like cigarettes and alcohol, which society has deemed to only be consumable by someone mature enough to understand the consequences. The other side is that once society has deemed you are old and mature enough to elect key government positions and sign up to die for your country in times of war, then you should be given all the privileges of an adult.

By changing the age to twenty-one, the government is making a point that eighteen-year-olds are not mature enough to understand the dangers of cigarettes. But if that’s the case, then why are they mature enough to understand what it means to vote? There needs to be some sort of consistency in what it means to be a legal adult, and I don’t believe this change is promoting such a consistency. If you need to be twenty-one to be mature, then we might as well consider people “teens” until twenty-one, and move the age to sign up for the draft and the age to vote to 21 as well.

Ryan Romanowski (Republican)

Governor Chris Christie’s decision to raise New Jersey’s age restriction on the purchase of tobacco

products have caused some outcry among teens and young adults. But besides those whom the law directly effects, most see this decision as a progressive and forward-thinking one.

Despite being relatively unsurprising, the decree makes my inner conservative red with anger. A decrease in tobacco related deaths is most certainly a good thing, however let us give the devil’s advocate a turn to play.

The government giveth, the government taketh away. This is the frustrated opinion of any smoker

between the age of nineteen and twenty-one – sparking the age-old debate about big brother and big

government power. Without any mention of grandfathering people in, this is sure to widen the divide

between government and young adults. It also serves as a reminder and will probably mobilize a number of republicans to vote for and support a more conservative governor in the upcoming November election.

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