Can buy a gun, but not a vape

Mininum age to purchase tobacco, vape products is now 21 nationwide


For many turning 18 years old is a big moment; you get granted many rights and privileges because you’re finally legally considered an adult. Although, just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have the freedom to do anything you’d wish.

On Dec. 20, 2019 President Trump signed legislation to amend the Federal Food and Drug Administration to raise the federal minimum age to buy tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21 years

Last May Big Tobacco companies such as Altria and Reynolds American advocated their support to raise the age to 21.

For junior Cole Stanley, he believes raising the age is good, but it will affect tobacco companies.

“Raising the age limit to 21 for purchasing tobacco products is good because it makes it harder for kids to access it, but it might hurt the companies’ revenue,” said Stanley.

However, not all South students like the new regulations. Junior Teagan Ramirez thinks the age change is bad.

“I’m not saying it is good to smoke tobacco products because they are highly addictive due to the nicotine level. It’s dumb that I can technically buy a gun, vote, and be tried in prison as an adult, but I am not treated old enough to buy a cigarette if I wanted to,” said Ramirez.

The age to buy tobacco products has been 21 years old in St. Louis County since Dec. 1, 2016. However many people under the age of 21 could go to nearby counties such as St. Charles and Jefferson County where the age was only 18, until now. 

For freshman Libby Morgan she believes that raising the age is pointless.

“It’s pointless to raise the age because if someone really wants to smoke or vape it’s not that hard to get even if you are underage,” said Morgan.

Although for South High health teacher, Jane Griesenauer she hopes raising the age will make it harder for high schoolers to access drugs.

“Potentially local vendors will sell less the kids underage because it is harder to look 21 rather than 18 years old,” said Griesenauer. 

Griesenauer also added that, “many teenagers think that drugs don’t affect them, so even if you believe that’s true there is no denying the financial impact it will have on you is substantial, there are many better things to spend your money on.”