Could Massively Restrictive Cigarette Law Come to Ohio Soon?
It's always interesting to debate the logic of the legality of products that slowly kill their consumers. Of course, the freedoms we enjoy in the United States make it so we can live, for the most part, however we please. Smoking a cigarette to take the edge off, fully aware of the consequences, is one of those freedoms.
Smoking is bad for you. Big tobacco companies can lobby our government into ignoring that fact for the rest of time, but it doesn't become less true. Still, there are safer alternatives to cigarettes, which have helped phase out its prevalent usage.
Vaping and the growing legality of cannabis use are both on the rise and are considerably safer options for inhaling some chemicals to alter our brain chemistry for a short period of time. Neither is 100% safe, but they do outpace cigarettes by a healthy margin.
So with safer alternatives on the market, could the age of cigarette use be coming to an end? Well in England, they are doing their best to ensure the next generation never legally smokes a cigarette ever again.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, of the Conservative Party, declared that the smoking age in England will be raised annually. In theory, a 14-year-old today will never legally buy a cigarette in England in their life.
Could something like this ever come to the states, or Ohio specifically?
It's hard to say. Sunak's decision isn't viewed favorably by many, even those who would call themselves conservative. Having such a radically restrictive law in place wouldn't be viewed favorably here either, by either side of the aisle at that.
It's worth noting that Sunak is likely to target vaping as well since it has a history of appealing to younger users. Vaping has been a target in the United States in the past too. When former President Donald Trump was still in office, he made an effort to ban flavored vape cartridges. It wasn't a total ban on vaping, and it didn't impact the whole market, but it did restrict consumer choice in the market even if it was intended to get flavored vapes out of the hands of teenagers.
Is a once hardly successful ban on vaping products enough to insinuate Americans should ever have to deal with such a thing? It's not too far-fetched. The truly biggest defense against such laws is how strongly big tobacco companies lobby the government. Still, those companies are losing more and more to cannabis and vaping, which means those lobbying tricks may not work much longer.
Likewise, Ohio recently legalized recreational cannabis use, the 24th state in the country to do so. With more options, cigarette usage could slowly dwindle on its own without such a restriction in place, even in Ohio.
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