To Smoke or Not to Smoke (At Age 18): That is the Question

As you may know, during the month of February the WellPower blog team has been considering the pros and cons of raising the legal age of cigarette smoking from 18 to 21. Our fellow colleagues at Campaign Consultation weighed in to let us know what they think about the Maryland Smoking Age debate.

AAI don’t think that the legal age to smoke should be raised from age 18 to age 21.  Adults should continue to make decisions for themselves and deal with the consequences accordingly.  – Adiyah Ali






AKI think smoking is a dangerous habit, especially for young people. However, I respect the right of adults to make their own decisions. Eighteen year olds can choose to go to war. If they are considered sufficiently adult to make that choice, then they have the right to be considered sufficiently adult to make their own decision about smoking. – Alice Kallaugher





API do not believe the smoking age should be raised to 21.  If we are considering those who are 18 adults then they should be free to make their own decisions regarding their habits and health like any other adult.  – Andrea Perri






AWYes, I think that the legal age should be raised from 18 to 21.  At 18, often young people are still motivated by being cool and doing what their friends are doing.  By 21, many young people come into their own, figure out who they are, and make their own choices.  If the legal age is 21, young people will have a chance to make a decision that is more about themselves than about peer pressure.  – Arthurine Walker





HTI don’t think the smoking age should be raised from age 18 to age 21.  If you’re old enough to die for your country, you’re old enough to choose to take up smoking.  – Hieu Truong






RSI do not think that the smoking age should be raised. The appeal of cigarettes is far more powerful than the risk of breaking the law. The problem is not that youth can buy cigarettes but that they want to. It’s the culture of smoking that needs to be curbed and the raised age might not be the most effective policy to achieve that goal. – Robyn Stegman





SKNo, the smoking age should not be raised. If we, as a governing body, proclaim 18 years old to be legally responsible to work, vote, have consensual sex and join the military, we should also consider them old enough to decide to smoke or not.  We should continue to provide all people in this country with the information necessary to make an informed decision about the hazards of smoking – but ultimately, it’s a choice they can make for their own well-being.  – Suzanne Knizner





Do you think that the legal age of cigarette smoking should be raised from age 18 to age 21? You can join the debate by commenting on this blog post or tweeting us @WellPowerBlog #SmokingAge with your thoughts and opinions about raising the smoking age to 21 in Maryland.

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Adiyah Ali

I have over 10 years of experience in grassroots and community organizing, facilitation and training, communications and outreach, issue advocacy and policy development, and have a proven track record in advancing social and economic justice campaigns in support of marginalized and disadvantaged populations.As a Project Specialist with Campaign Consultation, Inc. I provide communications and content development support for national service clients such as the Social Innovation Fund and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Read more.