Column: New tobacco law is going up in smoke

Tyler McCluskey, Staff Reporter

Floating around in the thin smoke-ridden air of Illinois is a new law that is being pushed to raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

When I first turned 18, I thought of how sweet it was to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets.

I only smoked one cigarette before that age and that was when I was 16, just trying to be cool and experiment with it.

But when I turned 18, it was the joy and thrill of seeing if I was going to get carded, which I did and it was an experience.

Now since I’m older, that thrill has gone away. Most adults that smoke began before the age of 19.

Cigarettes are an amazing stress reliever. I’m not saying that cigarettes are good for you, no, not at all.

They’re terrible, but the thing is that you’re taking away a right and privilege for young people that want to experience tobacco.

If you change the age to 21, why doesn’t the state then lower the drinking age to 18?

It seems to me that the freedom of choice has become the freedom of not having a choice.

Illinois seems to be discriminating against smokers.

The state already made it illegal to smoke in a public place, and that sucks. All state wide campuses cannot be smoked on either, which also sucks.

How do you expect kids not to get ahold of cigarettes?

It’s so easy to get ahold of anything anymore just like a how someone under 21 can get some alcohol.

So if the mandatory purchasing age of 21 doesn’t stop people from getting alcohol, how can it stop them from getting cigarettes? It won’t.

Chicago, along with other cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston, have banned smokeless tobacco from sporting events including baseball stadiums.

As a fan of baseball, I know a lot of athletes use chewing tobacco.

Since we were kids, we were basically taught to use chew or cigarettes in the form of Big League Chew and candy cigarettes, and those are both delicious.

It is what ballplayers do and most of them have been doing it for years.

Cigarettes are expensive and have seen a steady increase in price over the years.

If the age is raised to 21, all the tobacco shops will lose some business from it.

OK, I understand you’re trying to help prevent future health problems from the youth, but c’mon now, we all know that cigarettes are bad just like any other tobacco products.

It all comes down to an individual’s choice, and why take that choice away from the people?

Tyler McCluskey is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].