The New York City Council is proposing to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21. Although 18 year old teens can purchase cigarettes in New York City at this time, that may change due to this move in the City Council to revise the smoking age. The reason for the proposed change is simple, legislators would like to give young people another three years to be smoke free in the hopes that they may never pick up the habit.
Smoking is harmful, as described in the warning on the side of each pack. The cost is going sky high. For some teens, there may be an even more harmful choice to be made between smoking and eating a nutritious meal due to tight household budgets. Cigarette smoking may also be harmful to children with a whole array of conditions which are expensive to treat, including bronchitis, asthma, attention deficit disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome and even diabetes. Second hand smoke is also known to be harmful.
Any incremental harm to children from smoking will also result in additional Medicaid costs in a system that is already strapped for resources, and governmental actions that result in making people more healthy will not only lower Medicaid costs permanently but will also save lives.
Most schools and workplaces have banned or severely restricted smoking. The restriction is important to maintain so that students will have greater oxygenation and breathing capacity to perform better in all areas of academe with particular emphasis on standardized tests and gymnastics.
The legislation is sponsored by Councilman James Gennaro. Council
Speaker Christine Quinn is one of the bill’s biggest supporters. The
government at all levels must be conscious of issues like smoking which
impact the quality of life.
For instance, the US population is growing by over a million people per year, and could reach a half billion before the turn of this century, and our health care resources systems must be able to meet this growing demand by encouraging strategies which prevent disease.