Should legal age for smoking be 21?

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Lovemyguitar
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:27 am

khayes wrote:
Lovemyguitar wrote: ... addiction itself is a mental health problem...
Can you explain further? I know it's probably true in some cases, but did you mean to apply this to all addictions? Can we agree that quite often addictions are the result of bad choices that people make? It seems like nowadays few people want to take responsibility for their own actions and consequences...it has to be someone else's fault or else some kind of syndrome or disorder, which would imply they have no control over what happens to them.
Hmm. I'd really rather not argue about this, if that's okay. Sorry.

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Paul Janssen » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:59 am

In 2014, a law was passed in Australia that all tobacco products had to be presented in plain packaging with extremely large and very graphic health warnings on the package. A number of studies conducted by the Anti-Cancer council since then have shown that these measures have helped especially in the following two ways:

1. The number of smokers attempting to quit rose from 20% to around 27% - a statistically significant increase
2. The appeal of cigarette packs and brands, especially amongst young people, decreased significantly.

I know at the time that these laws were introduced, the big tobacco companies fought hard to have them overturned but to no avail. They were obviously concerned that the plain packaging laws were going to have a significant impact on their sales and profits.

Perhaps other countries could consider similar measures especially if they help prevent young people from taking up smoking in the first place?

Keith
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Keith » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:20 am

Age 18= legal adult, can vote, can be tossed in prison for an adult crime, can make legal decisions about health care (does not need parental approval at the hospital) can be drafted to fight in a war, etc. If one is considered a legal adult at age 18 then one should have the right to buy cigarettes and booze. (presently only buying booze is age 21). There is a difference between engaging in dumb behavior (smoking) and having the legal right to do so.

I also find it interesting that there are in-patient programs to treat addiction of every drug except nicotine. I have yet to see an advertisement for an inpatient program to treat cigarette addiction yet cigarettes kill more people each year than all drugs combined. Go figure.
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khayes
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by khayes » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:54 pm

Lovemyguitar wrote:
khayes wrote:
Lovemyguitar wrote: ... addiction itself is a mental health problem...
Can you explain further? I know it's probably true in some cases, but did you mean to apply this to all addictions? Can we agree that quite often addictions are the result of bad choices that people make? It seems like nowadays few people want to take responsibility for their own actions and consequences...it has to be someone else's fault or else some kind of syndrome or disorder, which would imply they have no control over what happens to them.
Hmm. I'd really rather not argue about this, if that's okay. Sorry.
OK. I'm not smart enough on the subject to argue - just seeking clarification.
Ken

PeteJ
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by PeteJ » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:57 pm

It's a complex issue. I just wonder why we worry about the financial impact. The main impact is people dying younger, and this saves money.

I've smoked for 49 years now so can't do any preaching.

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BugDog
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by BugDog » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:41 pm

MessyTendon wrote:No it should be ten years old! That's right! If you smoke at ten and you don't choke your guts out, then you probably will enjoy smoking. But I think the majority of kids who if they took one or two hits of tobacco at an early age, would never consider it again.
Upon thinking about it, that's what about what happened to me. My brother had stole a cigar from my Dad and I found it. Lit it up, half choked to death and never tried again.
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Mr Kite » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:30 pm

The minimum age for buying cigarettes in the UK was raised from 16 to 18 a good while back, maybe 15 years ago. There must be stats out there somewhere but my general impression was that not much changed. More recently there has been a huge change, to the point where I am almost surprised to smell cigarette smoke these days. What has brought that about, I don't know. There was the ban on smoking in public buildings (which, in a country where it never seems to stop raining, led to lots of sheltered but still officially "outdoor" space being created outside coffee shops and bars :D ) and there was the packaging featuring pictures of diseased organs, but I really think it's vaping that has made the difference. Beating nicotine addiction is really hard, but it seems people will switch to another delivery method for the sake of their health. No doubt vaping does cause some damage, and no doubt the full extent of it will only become apparent in years to come, but I believe it is far less dangerous than old-school smoking. For me the interesting question is whether young people will be drawn to it in the same way there were drawn to smoking. I find it hard to see why they would be, but who knows.

I think someone has already made the point that kids like doing what is forbidden, and I still think that applies at 18, 19 and 20. I also think that raising prices is a bit questionable - if you are already hooked, you will find the money if you there's any way you can, so it seems like a way of making life more difficult for people who are struggling for cash. If you are not already hooked and just want to find out what it's like - we know how that goes - the price isn't going to put you off. After all, it's just this once. Also, generally speaking, expensive things are more desirable, not less.

I would leave it where it is.

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guitarrista
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by guitarrista » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:56 pm

PeteJ wrote:It's a complex issue. I just wonder why we worry about the financial impact. The main impact is people dying younger, and this saves money.
I think it is about the same or more expensive - even though people statistically die younger. When calculating the lifetime cost of a person's healthcare, it is always the numbered months toward end-of-life which are the dominant chunk of the lifetime cost. So by that argument the costs would be comparable if all else is the same. However, if a person did not smoke, they would not only live a longer life - they may have less concomitant complications and die of natural causes more often than from devastating diseases/cancer, statistically, so this makes it more likely that the lifetime cost would be larger for smokers. in other words, length of life by itself is not a great proxy for a lifetime cost of healthcare.
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dory
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by dory » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:41 am

I doubt raising the age will help very much. Teenagers always find a way to get things they want. The only thing I can think of that will help is getting young people in touch with their bodies. In my case I smoked for two years in my twenties. I was not an athlete but I was very athletic in that I exercised a great deal. In only two years I noticed a subtle change in my breathing. I lived on a third floor amd noticed I was getting winded walking up the stairs. I couldn't stand that so I quit. I am thinking that the more young people engage in any kind of athletics or excercise the less willing they will be to compromise their bodies by smoking. I don't see that as a panacaea. However, it feels like a bit of hope. I have heard that there is a condition called "bubble lung" caused by vaping, so that also seems like acterrible idea to me. The problem with young peoplebis they are invincible. If they can be convinced somehow that they are not totally invincible and the smoking is already doing harm, there may be hope.
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:41 pm

khayes wrote:
Lovemyguitar wrote: ... addiction itself is a mental health problem...
Can you explain further? ...
Addiction is defined as a psych diagnosis. It easily could be considered medical. First, let's define physical dependence versus addiction.

"Withdrawal" are the physical dependence part. Your body really reacts badly to lack of the chemical of choice. For alcohol it's seizures and/or Delirium Tremens, and can be life threatening. For opiates it's diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and is usually not life threatening assuming the person can keep hydrated. For meth and other amphetamines, it's prolonged sleep, like for two weeks - not life threatening except in rare cases of heart arrhythmia. So it is very physiological in nature. Coffee has physical dependence without true addiction.

"Addiction" is the actual anatomical and biochemical changes in the brain. The brain itself is addicted. This includes changes to numbers and distribution of dopamine receptors. All the big drugs land on dopamine receptors, as far as I know. SO in that regard, the addiction is the same. Where it differs, is the production of a protein called Delta Fos B. Delta Fos B is responsible for cravings. It is also responsible for hyper-potentiation after a period of abstinence. In other words, after abstinence, Delta Fos B makes the next dose feel better than it ever has. Hence, recidivism rate is tied to levels of Delta Fos B. You produce Delta Fos B long after cessation - like 5-10 years. You will be addicted long after physical dependence has resolved.

Nicotine is worst, followed closely by methamphetamine. Then modern lab opioids like oxycontin. It's a toss up for wimpy opioids like opiuim, and alcohol. By pharmacological standards, pot is minimally addictive, despite the fear in the public.

What will kill you? Nicotine followed by alcohol. IV drug users die due to dirty needles and sepsis, but rarely due the drugs themselves. Although opioid OD is clearly on the rise due to vastly more potent lab opioids.

The Surgeon General of the good 'ole USA states "there is no safe dose of nicotine". So put that in your pipe and smoke it! :D Not!
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by simonm » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:32 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:... It is interesting, albeit disheartening, to see so many people (many of them on oxygen) still smoke after being educated and treated for tobacco abuse ...
The smoke industry has been advertising aggressively for a a century or more. Governments, assisted by lobbyists, want lots of people to smoke despite the health rhetoric as they pull in a vast amount of tax on smoking products. The only reason vaporisers manage to stay legal is likely because the lobbyists have persuaded the governments that this is a good alternative tax source if regular cigarettes fail to bring in enough revenue. A little bit to therapy here and there is no competition for that industry.

Whiteagle
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Whiteagle » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:00 pm

When I was young the legal age for smoking in Australia was 16. In 1994 it was increased to 18.

IF only 1 county has increased the age it is hard to see that being effective, the increase in age could be effective if it was more widespread.

Guther
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Re: Should legal age for smoking be 21?

Post by Guther » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:26 am

dory wrote:I doubt raising the age will help very much. Teenagers always find a way to get things they want. The only thing I can think of that will help is getting young people in touch with their bodies. In my case I smoked for two years in my twenties. I was not an athlete but I was very athletic in that I exercised a great deal. In only two years I noticed a subtle change in my breathing. I lived on a third floor amd noticed I was getting winded walking up the stairs. I couldn't stand that so I quit. I am thinking that the more young people engage in any kind of athletics or excercise the less willing they will be to compromise their bodies by smoking. I don't see that as a panacaea. However, it feels like a bit of hope. I have heard that there is a condition called "bubble lung" caused by vaping, so that also seems like acterrible idea to me. The problem with young peoplebis they are invincible. If they can be convinced somehow that they are not totally invincible and the smoking is already doing harm, there may be hope.
I smoked in my 20's as well and, for a couple years, did so while I ran about 4 miles per day at a rate of about 5 cigarettes per day and about a pack per day on weekends. As absurd as that sounds, I loved running but was addicted to cigarettes. After seeing how much smoking was impacting my health and strength, it was more of a moral issue for me and I began a long journey to quit. Now I'm still trying to pick up the old habit of running after packing on a few pounds...not so easy, but worth the effort. I liked your point as it resonated with my story a bit.
Guther

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