Long Island lawmaker wants to raise legal smoking (and vaping) age to 25
Last year, Governor Andrew Como signed legislation into law that raised the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, and now a lawmaker in Long Island wants to increase that threshold to 25. A self-professed former smoker of two-packs a day, Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez (D) believes that boosting the age restrictions by another four years will diminish a teenager’s urge to smoke and vape.
Apparently, there is no pleasing these anti-vapers. Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data that indicates a substantial 29 percent drop in teen vaping nationwide. Last year, President Donald Trump issued an executive order abolishing the sales of flavored, closed-system vapor products like JUUL and VUSE under political pressure from the democrats.
Meanwhile, numerous state governors are either still attempting or successfully implementing partial bans of their own on vaping flavors. Even when the courts reject these gubernatorial actions, the governors just keep trying in many cases.
For example, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been admonished by the state Supreme Court on two different occasions for banning flavored vapes though executive order, and just last week she announced a third attempt is in the works. Instead of issuing another bogus executive order though, she is seemingly strong-arming the Michigan Department of Health to craft new policies instead.
Anti-vaping hysteria: It’s all about the Benjamins
The Gonzalez proposal is noteworthy for other reasons, too. In an interview with the New York Post, the Long Island lawmaker admits that he is hoping other cities, counties, and regions will also adopt his proposal – thus ushering in a whole new level of nanny state regulations from New York to California that will be truly unprecedented.
The history of anti-vaping legislation already shows its passage is truly addictive among politicians. They view vaping bans and other restrictions as a big win for them politically. And as Samuel Gonzalez tells the Post, raising the legal smoking and vaping age will “absolutely” make Long Island a more appealing place to live. He then added, “God willing. Everyone should follow us.”
Unfortunately, many legislators across the country most likely will…follow him, that is. When San Francisco banned the sales of flavored vaping products in June 2018, the city of Berkley immediately followed suit. The anti-vaping trend spread across the state until last month when Governor Gavin Newsom signed bipartisan legislation sent over by the state congress which bans flavored vapes statewide.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also joined in the anti-vaping movement as did the heads of state in Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island, and many others. Almost each of the vaping bans are based on the premise that they will curtail teen vaping. And as Mr. Gonzalez said to the Post, so is his legislative proposal to raise the legal vaping and smoking age to 25. All this alleged angst over teen vaping raises some serious questions.
If Gonzalez gets his way and the legal age for purchasing smoking and vaping products is raised by four more years to 25, will the politicians de-ban flavored vape sales? According to the Gonzalez theory of age restrictions, vaping bans would no longer be needed, right?
While the likelihood of a repeal of the New York vaping ban is essentially zero, vapers across the country had still better brace themselves if the Gonzalez proposal gains traction in Long Island. Soon, similar regulations may be coming to a town, city, or state near you.
(Image courtesy of Facebook)