Idaho to Raise Smoking Age to 21
If a proposed piece of legislation goes through the State Legislature, you'll no longer be able to buy or use any tobacco products or e-cigarettes when you turn 18.
The piece of legislation is known as the "Tobacco 21 Act" and was introduced by Senator Fred. S. Martin. If it passes, the age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products will rise from 18 to 21 years old. There is some science behind "21" being the magic number. According to Senator Martin's research 95% of those people who consider themselves "daily smokers" developed the habit before they were 21 and teen brains are more likely to form a nicotine than someone a little older. Treating preventable smoking-related illnesses like lung cancer and emphysema also puts a $508 million toll on the state's health care system a year.
At that his conclusion press release, Martin said smoking is one of the hardest habits to break and I see that first hand every day. I forget how it came up in conversation, but my fiance mentioned something about how easy it was to get cigarettes off of gas station clerks late at night. He and his friends used to go in the middle of the night to by theirs before they were 18 (they thought the clerks were just happy that someone wasn't trying to rob them at 2 a.m.)
He stopped smoking before we started dating, but is still addicted to nicotine. I didn't know how much until I actually went into a vape shop with him last weekend (yup, we've been together for two years and never went in one before.) When they asked him what strength the clerk looked at him and said "we don't have anything close to that strong here." When I see the research Senator Martin laid out in his press release, I can't help but wonder if my fiance would have an easier time trying to quit cold turkey if he hadn't started smoking so young. (Plus, I certainly wouldn't miss feeling embarrassed every time a server tells him he can't vape in their restaurant, because like 90% of the time he knows that but does it any way.)
The City of Boise banned smoking in public places and parks in 2012. Meridian expanded their smoking ban to include e-cigarettes and vapes inside city facilities and parks in 2013. Right now only Hawaii and California have raised the age to purchase, possess or use tobacco products and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.