The city of San Antonio is considering raising the tobacco age from 18 to 21. That sound you hear is of both baseball players feeling singled out and the dying gasps of personal liberty. The fact of the matter is that at 18 years old, one knows the dangers of smoking. Cigarette packets are covered in warnings about the potential negative side effects of smoking. It has been pounded into our Millennial heads since the day we were born that smoking causes cancer and could possibly kill you--that being said, it is an adult’s personal choice whether or not to smoke.
In Kayleigh Stubb’s Rivard Report article supporting this measure, she states,
“I am almost 18 years old, so I’m still really young. Most 18-year-olds like myself are in high school. If they’re able to legally purchase tobacco products, what do you think they will do next?”
Quite frankly Kayleigh, grow up and take some responsibility for yourself. At the age of 18 you are not “still really young”. You are a legal adult. Your own inability to be a responsible adult does not grant you license to restrict the liberty of another. At 18 one can finally get a tattoo, donate blood, buy fireworks, buy spray paint, purchase a long rifle, adopt a dog and a child, rent an apartment, go to jail, vote, and enlist in the military. Why should smoking be any different? If, at the age of 18, one does not possess the mental capability to make that decision, they deserve a refund on life from both their parents and educational system.
To answer your question about “What do you think they will do next?” Perhaps they will die for their country or vote for the next president of the United States. Who knows? At 18 you are a legal adult and should be treated as such.
There is nothing moral about forcing someone to act a certain way. Morality comes from choice, not by force. As Doug Bandow wrote, “Moral-minded citizens should turn to the state only as a last resort. The issue needs to be important enough to warrant government intervention; the activity involved also needs to have a significant impact on non-consenting parties. And private alternatives should be clearly inadequate” Much like drinking, if an 18 year old wants to smoke a cigarette they will smoke a cigarette.
Maybe we should just treat smoking like liberals want to treat abortion: safe, legal and rare.
The city council of San Antonio will vote on this measure on January 11th.
“Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” - Benjamin Franklin