Should The Legal Smoking Age Be 21?
A House Resolution out of the recent legislative session would have the State Department of Health study the feasibility of increasing the age to purchase tobacco produces to 21.
It’s by West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman who says one of the things they want the state to examine is the impact of being more mature before you can buy smokes.
What are the health cost savings, and those numbers can be huge if people don't ever start smoking or if they start smoking later," said Hoffman. "Just to take a look at statistics to see if this makes sense to do."
Hoffman has gotten behind many anti-smoking measures as a legislator including tobacco tax increases and laws against lighting up on a school campus. He knows there will be some push back to this idea, but he says people who are former smokers will approve.
"They look back on it and wish they had never started," said Hoffman. "And of course the ages of 18-21 is the time when many young people do start smoking."
Hoffman says there is evidence that increasing the age limit would mean more people would never consider smoking.
"That's not for sure, but I think statistics do show they would never start at all," said Hoffman.
Hoffman says the study will be completed before the start of the next regular legislative session.