Smokes at 18?

MSPs set to raise legal age for buying cigarettes to 18.

Hmm. I’m not at all sure about this. Sixteen-year-olds are smart enough to know that cigarettes are bad for you. And obviously this legislation would hardly stop under-18s — or under-16s for that matter — getting cigarettes.

This sort of age is very confusing for knowing where you stand in the grand scheme of things. At the age of 16 you can get married, but you can’t have a pint, you can’t drive a car and you can’t vote. And who decided that 17-year-olds should be allowed to drive — did they pull that number out of a hat?

I’m not a fan of age restrictions in general really. Take driving for instance. I don’t think accidents are caused by under-25s more per se. But that’s kind of beside the point. If a driver is so bad, they shouldn’t be on the road, whether they are 17, 35, 75 or 14.

16-year-olds aren’t kids. If they’re going to drink and smoke — and they are — then why not? Their bodies are more than likely as developed as any adult’s. They are old enough and educated enough to know about the risks involved. A little law is hardly going to stop them anyway.

8 comments

  1. Smokes at 18?

    [Source: doctorvee] quoted: I’m not at all sure about this. Sixteen-year-olds are smart enough to know that cigarettes are bad for you. And obviously this legislation would hardly stop under-18s —

  2. Driving is a particularly odd one because you have to pass a test to prove your proficiency, so age shouldn’t come in to it at all. Except, I suppose, that in order to pass your test you first have to be a learner…

  3. Jersey increased the age of buying and smoking cigarettes to 18 last year and has already seen a drop in young people (under 16s) smoking.

    They also introduced harsher penalties if you are caught buying cigarettes or alcohol for anyone under 18 (ie prison term).

  4. From the Scotsman Story: Neil Rafferty, of the smokers’ rights group, Forest, said: “Are we saying that 16-year-olds can have sex but can’t have a cigarette afterwards?” – heh!

  5. I think this is a great move by the Scottish Executive. This is one policy I have long believed in as part of a comprehensive set of policies to reduce youth smoking. Where about is the news story, you got this from? I would love to read it.

  6. And of course the fact that the age of consent is 16 means that some of these folks have kids. If that’s not the biggest responsibility, I don’t know what is – and if these teenagers are expected to act like adults and take care of a young baby then they should be allowed to consume what the hell they want (as long as they don’t puff their revolting fags near me or chuck their Buckie bottles in my wheelie bin, the idiots…)