Why smoking should be illegal in teenage years.

Essay by peejay_meerhedHigh School, 10th gradeA, March 2003

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Illegal to Purchase, Legal to Use?

"Cigarette smoking is the single most important cause of preventable illness and

premature death in Canada. Reducing tobacco usage among youth is the best hope

for long-term reduction in lung cancer."

- The Canadian Lung Association

Certain laws are made to prohibit certain actions. The fact that persons under

the age of 19 in Ontario may not purchase cigarettes indirectly implies they may

not smoke cigarettes before the age of 19. This law is obviously a useless

deterrent because the vast majority of smokers begin smoking between the ages of

15 to 19, signaling a refusal to abide by the boundaries set in place. If the

law was changed so that people under 19 found smoking cigarettes, whether they

purchased them or not, would be punished. Much the same way the sellers are

punished for selling to underage smokers. This would be a real deterrent and it

would result in a greater amount of people being careful about their actions,

and therefore reduce the number or smokers down the line.

It doesn't make sense to allow teenagers to smoke cigarettes, but to purchase

them is illegal. The penalty for purchasing cigarettes before the age of 19

should be the same for any underage person smoking a cigarette. The act of

purchasing is one that is completed in order to utilize whatever was purchased.

If this is the case, it can be assumed that any person buying cigarettes is

going to smoke them. When a person under the age of 19 is banned from buying

cigarettes, it is effectively banning them from smoking. This deterrent is only

useful when the law is enforced. A recent study showed that only 46% of

underage cigarette purchasers were asked their age. This indicates...