July 14, 2015 – Age of Consent
Anchor lead: Hawaii has raised the legal age of smoking to 21, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Hawaii is the first state in the union to raise both the legal age of smoking and of purchasing tobacco products to 21. Is such an action merely symbolic or is it likely to result in real change? Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, frames the issue.
Neptune: There’s a strong background to the elevation of ages of consent from 18 to 21, and I think most people would be familiar with the increase in the drinking age. And also with the benefits in terms of the reduction in alcohol related traffic deaths. It’s with that same concept in mind that many people have thought that increasing the minimum legal age for smoking might have similar beneficial effects. :27
Neptune says studies have shown that the majority of people begin smoking before age 19, so any delay in taking up the habit should result in fewer smokers. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.