General Question

SergeantQueen's avatar

What are your thoughts on this article?

Asked by SergeantQueen (9153points) 3 weeks ago

This
It is slightly outdated, and I do believe the smoking age is now 21, but what are your thoughts?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

We played that game 50 years ago in the realm of 18-year-olds drinking and whether guys would go to the war in Vietnam. That’s why the drinking age was lowered to 18 back in the 1970s.

And we found, in general, that 18 year olds are NOT responsible. Sure they can shoot someone in a war… but that’s not the argument. The whole ‘going to war’ argument is specious.

The average 18 year old is NOT going to war. In fact they are cowardly and playing video games.

The average 18 year old is a spoiled whining (male or female) kid. Who is stupid and in many ways self-destructive.

This argument does not hold water. Despite their claims to the contrary, being old enough to fight doesn’t make them good decision makers when it comes to self destructive behavior..

SergeantQueen's avatar

@elbanditoroso I think people are trying to argue that if there were to be a war, 18 year olds would be drafted. Why is it that when the government needs them they are considered mature enough and “adult” enough to do what they want but when they want to make their own choices such as drinking or smoking, they aren’t mature enough? 18 year olds are charged as an adult for crimes. They are able to know right from wrong then. Everyone I know that smokes is fully aware of the risks. I don’t like that in some situations 18 year olds are adults, and in some they are “stupid and irresponsible”. 18 year olds can vote. Why aren’t they considered too stupid to vote if they are too stupid to do other things?

SergeantQueen's avatar

Why are you considered mature and responsible for some things at one age, but not for others at an age 3 years older? How much more mature can somebody get in 3 years? it’s not as if you turn 21 and are suddenly mature and responsible and do everything the way you should….

SergeantQueen's avatar

For the record, I am not arguing specifically on smoking just the idea that people are so inconsistent with the ages and what you can do and why

Edit:
At 16 they consider you responsible enough to drive, you can also get your pilots license at 16

At 18 they consider you responsible enough to vote, join the military (which, whether we are at war or not, is a big life changing decision), you can put yourself in lots of debt from loans, AND you can live on your own and are considered an adult in many situations

At 21 you can smoke and drink.
I feel it is stupid because, According to A few different Sources, your brain is not fully devolped until mid twenties, early thirties…. So why isn’t the smoking/ drinking age 25 if that is their concern?
Why can’t everything be one age?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I think they should have the right to smoke if and only if the price of cigarettes is raised to cover the actual costs incurred to treat lung cancers and other illnesses, and productivity losses tied to smoking. Several studies show the tax should be in the $15 to $20 range on top of the price of a pack of cigarettes.
18 year olds should clearly be taught the insurance implications of smoking.
You can do the research yourself… but the numbers are about 1 in 4000 non smokers will contract lung cancer . 1 in 175 smokers will contract the disease.
Half of lung cancer patient die within one year of diagnosis. (You figure out the annual value of life.)
The average cost of lung cancer treatment is $375,000 per year.
Productivity lost due to smoking and related illnesses is another huge number.
Do the math and figure out how much that is per pack. Then add it on.
I’m a non-smoker and don’t want to pay for someone else’s habit.
If you pay for it yourself, great. It’s your loss – not mine.

SergeantQueen's avatar

@LuckyGuy Some states are raising it.
New York is $13
But yes, the average is within the $5 range.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@SergeantQueen I saw someplace the value should be $35–50 if you include loss of life. It is quite shocking.

I still can’t figure out why anyone would do it – or why anyone would date someone who does. Their mouths smell like ashtray. Their clothes, apartments, and cars stink. They can’t walk or run as far,. etc. etc.
And they waste money!

SergeantQueen's avatar

Yeah, I do agree. I know people close to a pack a day. I don’t agree with smoking, I just dislike the age argument (if you read the edit of my above post). $35–50 would stop A LOT of people!
Some people argue though, that it is one’s own choice, so why should loss of life be factored? It’s on every pack that this can cause cancer, so people know the risks. I am playing devil’s advocate here, just curious on everyones thoughts because I’ve seen a ton of posts from my friends about this.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If you’re mature enough to vote, to incur debt, to sign contracts, to go off to war, then yes, you are mature enough to have a beer and a cigarette.

josie's avatar

The younger you are the more significant the influence of chemicals like alcohol and nicotine on your brain
Older is better when it comes to substances
Younger is better when it comes to killing the enemy

SergeantQueen's avatar

@josie
Younger is better when it comes to killing the enemy
The aftermath of that is what bugs me, but that applies to any age being put in that position.

chyna's avatar

@SergeantQueen Some people argue though, that it is one’s own choice, so why should loss of life be factored?
Because as @LuckyGuy points out, their hospital bills for their cancer is passed on to all of us through our premiums.

SergeantQueen's avatar

ooooh so here is where my ignorance comes in, I have no idea what that means @chyna

Darth_Algar's avatar

@chyna “Because as @LuckyGuy points out, their hospital bills for their cancer is passed on to all of us through our premiums.”

Which is true of any ailment.

raum's avatar

I don’t think they should lower the age to smoke. I think they should raise the age to draft to twenty-five.

Actually, that’s probably a dumb idea. People are going to smoke even if you raise the age.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Funny that so many people bring military into the discussion.

Civilian 18 year olds have considerably more freedoms than teens in the military.

Teens in the military undergo a transformation which civilian teens normally do not.

Some teens join the military, then they are considered to be unworthy and get “released”.

While the military has its good points, it is not addictive.

Kraigmo's avatar

Rather than paternalistically coddling 18 year olds into better health, there should just be a higher tax on cigarettes as LuckyGuy pointed out.
We need universal health care. But it will only work, if we tax things that are harmful to health, with a realistic high tax that truly mitigates the negative impact of such harmful things.

Zaku's avatar

I think yes, though as rights go, it’s a sad one, given the negative effects.

I’m so radical that I also think people old enough to die for their country ought to be old enough to drink alcohol, and well, anything with a young age limit on it.

I’m sort of surprised Mitch McConnell ever did anything even slightly worthwhile. Perhaps he had the cigarette industry’s best interests in mind? I do find his quote ironically hilarious that it would be “one of his highest priorities.”

Sagacious's avatar

The article is goofy to me. The new law sounds to me to only restrict the age at which one may purchase cigarettes or vaping things.It didn’t seem to regulate at what age one can use tobacco products.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Wouldn’t it be illegal for you to smoke cigarettes if it’s illegal for you to purchase them?

Sagacious's avatar

No. The legislation will have to make use illegal and determine rank and severity of criminal liability for purchasing for illegal users, illegal use, selling to illegal purchaser, allowing illegal use on your property etc. etc. The National Minimum Drinking Age did not outlaw underage drinking, only the purchase of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21. Most states have complimented that federal law with a state law including use as well as purchasing. Some, if not most, states haven’t gone so far to completely outlaw/ban underage drinking in certain private settings.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Ohhhh. But I would bet they (states) would make it a law since they are so “concerned” about it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Wouldn’t it be illegal for you to smoke cigarettes if it’s illegal for you to purchase them?”

Not necessarily. For example: during Prohibition the consumption of alcohol was not illegal. Just the manufacture, distribution and sell of it.

JLeslie's avatar

I think if you are a legal adult you can smoke, drink, join the military, vote, and sign contracts, just to name a few. In America you become an adult at 18.

US military bases abroad can have a drinking age as low as 18, unless that was changed recently and I don’t know it. I don’t remember if you have to be active duty to buy alcohol under 21 though.

The military has been trying to greatly discourage smoking though. I don’t know the age you have to be on base to buy cigarettes. I remember reading an article a while back. At the time I was thinking how a lot of drug and alcohol rehab practically promote smoking as the new habit for addicts to help them break the more dangerous ones. It seemed like people participating in a war should be able to have a vice like smoking, even though I think smoking is a horrible habit. I also would prefer military personnel not be withdrawing off of any substances while at a combat front for many reasons, but I’m conflicted, especially when experts basically promote smoking for addicts. Back when I use to be on base more the cigarettes were much cheaper there than off base (I’m talking in America) but I don’t know how it is now. At least part of that is the no or low taxes on base. You can buy alcohol cheaper on base than on the outside too.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m wondering if this proceeds legalized marijuana nationwide.

It occurred to me last night that age might be the barrier keeping some key votes at “no”.

If that were the case…
You know, I’ll post the question.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Darth_Algar _ ” their hospital bills for their cancer is passed on to all of us through our premiums.”_
“Which is true of any ailment.”

You are correct. The difference is lung cancer is virtually preventable. Don’t smoke.
(Note I said “virtually”. For non-smokers nly 1 person in 4000 will contract the disease.)
I’d gladly have my premiums cover the poor 1 in 4000 non-smokers who contracted cancer by luck of the draw. But I don’t want to pay for the 1 in 175 smokers who knowing light up saying they accept the risk. “Accept the risk?” I call BS. If you really accept the risk you should accept the payments as well. They are making us accept the risk. How about buying Smoker’s insurance.
By the way, I feel the same way about Type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise will fix or control most if not all of those cases. Should society at large continue to pay for the excesses of others? Tax food and sugary drinks and use that to pay for the medical bills.

zenvelo's avatar

The argument about “if you’re old enough to go to war…” actually begs the question, “shouldn’t soldiers be a minimum of age 21 before being allowed to drafted/enlist?”

Also, the argument “if I am old enough to join the army, I am old enough to make a decision about…” fails because joining the military means not making one’s own decisions, it’s about being trained to follow orders and do as one is told.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@zenvelo “The argument about “if you’re old enough to go to war…” actually begs the question, “shouldn’t soldiers be a minimum of age 21 before being allowed to drafted/enlist?”

Arguably, yes. But society has deemed otherwise. Thus, the point stands.

“Also, the argument “if I am old enough to join the army, I am old enough to make a decision about…” fails because joining the military means not making one’s own decisions, it’s about being trained to follow orders and do as one is told.”

How many jobs out there mean making one’s own decisions?

zenvelo's avatar

@Darth_Algar “How many jobs out there mean making one’s own decisions?”

Very few. Which is why being free to make a severe health decision at age 18 is silly. and, as you pointed out society has deemed otherwise and raised the decision age for nicotine delivery to age 21. Thus the point stands.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d like to offer an interesting aside.
How old do you think someone must be to walk in the woods with a loaded firearm in Western NY? 18? Nope. 16? Nope. 14? In some regions of New York State (mine) it is legal for 12 year olds to hunt small game with a firearm if they are with a guardian 21 or older.
The age for hunting Big game is 14! They make take one deer and one bear during the limited days the season is open.
Source – New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation Junior Hunter Regulations

As the age limit lowered the accident rates have fallen. Apparently adult hunters behave differently (more responsibly) when there are minors around.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@zenvelo “Which is why being free to make a severe health decision at age 18 is silly.”

But being free to incur massive debt or to sign legally binding agreements is not?

zenvelo's avatar

@Darth_Algar You keep reinforcing my opinion. 18 is too young for that too. It shows what a scam student loans are that the banks allow people with no income to mortgage their lives with no co-signer and no plan available to pay off student loans in a reasonable manner.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, I’m trying to figure out just what your stance is here. Hence the question.

zenvelo's avatar

@Darth_Algar Generally, my stance is to allow freedoms at a younger age, but avoidance of dire consequences until one is older.

My ex’s parents, my ex, and I, all structured our wills so that our children did not receive hardly any of their inheritances until they were 25; and most of it held in trust until they turn 30.

My kids are pretty responsible kids, have done well at college, have been in far less predicaments than I was at their age, yet we know that having a lot of money could be disastrous.

jca2's avatar

@SergeantQueen: As for your question about health insurance premiums, to simplify it, if your insurance company charges $1k per month for your health insurance, they are betting (gambling) that your health care will be less than that per month, which it may well be because you might not ever go to the doctor. However, for some people, it will be more than1k if they have something happen (broken bone, need a test, etc.). For some rare people, it may be way, way higher than 1k per month (i.e. cancer or hospital stay for some disease, coma, etc.).

So someone who is relatively healthy will be cheaper to insure than someone who smokes, drinks heavily, does things like meth, smoke crack, heroin, etc.

This is why some people are in favor of helmet laws for motorcycle riders. If the motorcycle rider doesn’t wear a helmet and ends up in a coma, the money comes out of the insurance pool.

This is why there are seatbelt laws. There are less injuries and less expensive injuries when people in cars wear seatbelts. Same with child seats for babies and toddlers (now up to age 8 in New York state).

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther