Congress passes law raising legal smoking age to 21

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Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Nathalie Moreno

For many teenagers, it may seem like their worst nightmare just came true following this new law that Congress passed  and President Donald Trump signed prohibiting the vending of e-cigarettes and vaping pens to anyone under the age of 21.

“Beginning in the summer of 2020, it will be a violation of federal law to sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 21,” Madeleine Carlisle of Time Magazine said.

Though teenagers might not see it yet, this law could save a lot of lives, and it is a good thing that this problem was realized and acted upon as quickly as it was.

 This vaping age we live in has quickly gone from a phenomenon to a catastrophe. Vaping cartridge companies, such as Lava2 and Juul, have had a recent boom in business this past year. A lot of the credit for this business boom goes to teenagers who started buying e-cigarettes and vapes.

Christine Sexton, a news journalist from Health News Florida shed light on a scary statistical increase in vape use in the past few years.

“The Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida, which is part of the Department of Health,  reported that in 2018, about 25 percent of Florida high school students reported they used vaping devices. That’s a 58 percent increase compared to the previous year,” Sexton said.

Vaping has become a part of students’ lives everywhere, with Florida Southern College as no exception. Faculty, administration and students all have their own opinions on this new law.

“I don’t agree with it,” freshman Maggie Walker said. “[This] means all the kids who vape are now struggling with an addiction, have no resources and will just get others to buy them vapes like they always have. It’s not going to fix anything.”

Though this law is not agreeable among everybody, there are people who believe that this law will make a change, even if it will not be a big one.

“Like drinking, teenagers will still vape, but with limited access, fewer teens will do it, and many of those who do will be forced to do so less frequently,” professor Lou DiLeo said. “Does that make it a good thing? Sure, if we as a society have decided that’s what it is.”

Smoking these metal nicotine filled cartridges might have seemed cool for a while, but now, things are taking a nasty turn. More and more reports are coming in about kids suffering from lung infections and diseases due to excessive vaping and contaminated nicotine carts. Hospital visits have been at an alarmingly high rate, teens coming in left and right suffering from  electronic cigarette or vaping associated lung injuries, an issue they’ve shortened to EVALI.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been carrying out studies into the effects of these lung injuries caused by vaping.

“As of January 14, 2020, a total of 2,668 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands),” the CDC reported on their website.

These numbers are disgustingly high, considering they pertain to injuries and deaths. This new law is one of the better things President Trump has done while in office. 

Smoking electronic cigarettes and vapes is not worth losing your life or permanently damaging your organs for. 

There is no doubt that teenagers will just look for different ways to rebel and persist against this law and others like it, mainly because rebelling is in our nature, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

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