Monday, September 3, 2007

Got a light?

Ok, this is being written not because of my being a smoker, but because I am an American who is fed up with a group of aging elected citizens who feel they can legislate morality. I must admit I am a little biased because I smoke, but being that I am 21-years-old, this discussion seems a tad irrelevant. The article about Congress wanting to pass a bill that would raise the legal smoking age to 19 is as laughable as it is nauseating. You might as well put a legal age minimum on sex, because, like sex, minors will just continue to do it.

Although I would never give one power of attorney or be in charge of a covert, sting operation, I believe 18-year-olds are 'adult' enough to make choices that may or may not be deleterious to their health. Hell, we think them adult enough to send them to WAR, send them off to college (where, by the way, there are worse things than cigarettes or snuff), and let them elect these officials who want them to vote but wait another year until they smoke. Confusing. I am in complete agreement with the current legislation. 18 years is an age landmark that brings on a world of responsibilities and new found options. It is the first step towards adulthood, and short of car rental or alcohol purchase/consumption there isn't much else an 18-year-old can do.

Proponents of this bill say it is to stop high-school students from smoking, in spite of the fact that they are legal. Hmm. 1st problem, they are legal! Legislation should be designed to grant freedoms. Once that freedom is granted, it is a slippery slope to take it away again, if you can recall the extreme popularity of prohibition. It is also said that this bill would stop 18 year olds from buying cigarettes for their UNDERAGE friends. I'm sorry, but there are consequences that are currently in place the deal with providing tobacco for minors, and people do it anyway. Also, by raising the age by one year simply makes Slow-held-back-Bobby-in-the-back-row the new Mr. Congeniality to smokers in every 4th period Biology class.

Plus, you could raise the legal age to AARP heights, and people would still smoke. Granted, it might be harder to talk my Grandpa into buying me a carton, but I would find a way. People would find a way. Contributing to your minor friends is the price you pay for beating them to the legal age of 18 or 21. Let's give a some, not a lot, of credit to 18-year-olds everywhere. I wouldn't let too many of them run a country or any business larger than a lemonade stand, but of all the other responsibilities our legal system lays on their shoulders, let them smoke while they fight a war, cast their ballot, buy their lotto ticket, or sign legal documents without their mommy standing over their shoulder. If this bill passes, I am moving to Mexico and buying every 18-year-old I know a big Carton of Marlboro Reds!

PS – I will not even get started on the ridiculousness of the fact that a large portion of college FRESHMEN couldn't buy a pack of smokes or tin of snuff, because I think we can all see how ludicrous that is.

PS2 – Why has smoking got such a bad rap? Yes, I am completely aware of the negative health effects of a puff, but why not raise the legal age of eating a whopper? I am in complete agreement with legislation that restricts smoking in public places like restaurants or bars, but if I want to smoke a cigarette outside, on my back porch, or on a curb outside said bar/restaurant, don't look at me like I just got my membership card for All Qa'ida or the KKK. I was out the other day with some people and said I was gonna step outside for a smoke, and they looked at me like I had just said I was gonna go refocus my camera lens for the child porno I was getting ready to shoot. It’s just a cigarette. I am considerate and try to avert my smoke from others and try not to litter my butts all over the place. So, all you non-smokers be considerate of ME and all other smokers and let us smoke!

1 comment:

Sarah Renee said...

are you being considerate of your lungs? they need respect as well!!!!!!