I have two girls that are now teenagers, 13 and 14. Naturally as a father I started thinking of all the bad things they can get into. Of course there is the war on drugs, but I will tackle that issue at a later day (So keep checking for that). So I think what worries parents the most is kids smoking and drinking, and beyond that what is worse. Well the national statistic show that 440,000 people die every year from smoking, to 75,000 die from drinking.
The reason I am tying kids into the smoking and drinking issue is that I started thinking about how kids get hooked on smoking. I know teenagers aren’t counting the days down until they hit either 18 or 19, depending on the state, and say to themselves I can’t wait until my birthday so I can try smoking for the first time. As seen on YouTube that started a national craze, with the infant about a year to a year and a half old smoking and actually blowing smoke rings, I do believe the tobacco companies are still targeting teens. Since most if not all new customers are teens and not middle aged adults just realizing that they think smoking is cool!
It is odd that you can that you can start smoking at 18, start voting at 18, and even die for your country at 18 (17 with a parental waver) but to have a drink you better wait until you are 21. Now don’t let that statement make you believe that I think the drinking age should be dropped to 18. I believe in the opposite, in that I think you should be 21 to purchase tobacco.
One thing on this subject that confuses me is that, if a teenage can somehow score a pack of smokes and soon becomes addicted why would that person need to wait until they are 18 or 19 to get the patch or nicotine gum to help them quit. I was at Wal-mart sometime ago, and I went to the short line which was the line where they were selling the tobacco, and next to the tobacco was the quit smoking items. So I asked the cashier why they were behind a counter and not out in the open to help advertise good health in quitting this nasty habit. At first she looks at me like I’m crazy and says “you have to be 18 to purchase and nicotine gum”. Maybe someone can explain to me why you would put restrictions on promoting good health.