The legal age to buy tobacco is sparking debate in Ohio. (Source: Associated Press)
At what age should one be allowed to buy tobacco products? That's the question and the dilemma.
Recently, experts at Ohio State University suggested raising the minimum age from 18 to 21. They say it is the best way to prevent lifelong addiction. Research concludes nicotine's effect on brain development leads adolescents to heavier daily tobacco use, a stronger nicotine addiction, and more trouble with quitting later in life. Plus, studies have shown that many underage teens access cigarettes through 18 and 20-year-olds. Without a question, a legal age raised to 21 would cut into that number.
Some would argue that if 18 is adult enough to fight and possibly die for our country, or vote and elect the government, why shouldn't they be considered adults for other matters? While we don't condone underage drinking or smoking in any way, some will claim hypocrisy: either 18 is adult enough, or it's not.
The question and dilemma of raising the legal age for smoking is sparking debate across our state. Let's hope we make the right decisions -- for the right reasons -- going forward.