Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm a joker, I'm a smoker

A bit of news slipped by a few days ago that the legal smoking age in England and Wales was to rise from 16 to 18 years in October 2007. (read the BBC article here). This will go hand in hand with the public smoking ban (April in Wales, July in England).

I made a little 'woo hoo' noise when I read about it as I really do think smoking is vile and that people are ignorant to carry on doing it, but I know that I'm being a little harsh with that last comment as I could apply the same rationale to drinking alcohol or excessive eating. I still liked the 'woo hoo' though.

I see a lot of teenagers smoking, some of them not even actually teenagers yet, and hopefully this will mean that they will find it harder to buy cigarettes and start smoking. It's all too easy to buy cigarettes when underage, hell I even tried smoking when I was 15 but for only 2 weeks due to peer-pressure and I stopped once I realised how disgusting it was. I can see the appeal for youngsters though who still see it as 'cool'. Little do they know.

The 16 year old limit is not reinforced, so the question is if the 18 year old limit be enforced? I don't think it will but it will deter younger smokers, although those 16 year olds will still buy cigarettes but it will put off the 13, 14, and 15 year olds (hopefully).

Someone brought up the point yesterday that 16 year olds who have started smoking completely legally will be in a funny situation when it comes to October as they will have to stop smoking otherwise they'll be breaking the law, and will have to wait until they are 18. Weird eh?

If we lived in a utopian society then smoking would be completely banned, but then so would drinking, and so would sweets and any foods with excessive fat, sugar, or salt. It just isn't going to happen as there's too much invested in it. Once people are adults then they should be allowed to make their own choices as long as what they choose doesn't have an adverse effect on others.

Roll on the Smoking ban!!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even as someone who indulges occasionally, I agree smoking is a vile habit.

Interesting point about the 16 and 17 year olds that smoke now... Bummer!

Who's the woman in the pic, she looks familiar and not entirely unattractive :-)

Pynchon said...

I cannot believe that it is going to make any difference at all.

I agree with Stef about the 16/17 year olds who smoke. That is a good point.

adem said...

Stef- I don't knowwho the girl is.. I just googled it.

Pynchon - I don't know what difference it'll make... but I'll still feel better on my moral highground!

40-a-day man said...

Not sure it will be illegal for under 18s to smoke, only to buy ciggies. So they'll just get older friends to go and buy them, same as with booze now.

I'm old enough to remember Nick O'Teen, who used to feature in the public service ads that were supposed to put us kids off. I just thought he was cool. And as for 'Just say no' to drugs...

I suppose I'm quite a perverse and contrary type, come to think of it! Anyway, must dash or I'll miss my chemo.

Aravis said...

Here in the States the legal age is 21 and is strictly enforced. Hefty penalties occur for those caught in violation. The police will even set up sting operations to catch those who they believe are selling cigarettes illegally, just as they would for those who sell alcohol to minors.

But as you say, kids can still get others to buy their smokes for them.

As for those 16/17 year olds, they won't be "grandfathered" in? When our drinking age turned from 18 to 21, those 18-20 who had been legally able to drink up until then were still legally allowed to drink. It was those who had not yet turned 18 who weren't allowed.

You mentioned that alcohol, sweets, etc. could be made illegal if your strict smoking standards were enforced. This made me think of a battle brewing in NYC, where the mayor is trying to make cooking with trans fats illegal. Some restaurants are already complying though it isn't a law yet. But it's highly controversial and many are fighting against it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.