The city council members and commissioners for Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas think they’ve really done something this time. According to Fox 4, the Kansas City Council and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County voted to prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under 18.
Because laws similar to that have completely ended the scourge of underage drinking, or something.
“I’m happy I think this is a really big win for Kansas City and a big win for the kids we have in Kansas City,” Jessica Hembree of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City said.
Right, because 20 year old adults are “kids.”
Supporters of the age limit say this will help prevent younger people from becoming addicted to cigarettes, which is important, they claim, because teen smokers become lifelong smokers.
“This is a time to really celebrate,” said Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City Health Department. “It looks like our effort to reduce heart disease has stalled. This will be important in getting that going.”
Not everyone is thrilled with the nanny-staters though.
“You can put your life on the line by joining the military at 18 but can’t buy a cigarette, what a joke,” someone tweeted, Fox 4 reported.
Another bit of context on how ridiculous this is, a girl in Kansas City can get an abortion at age 17, but she can’t buy a pack of smokes.
The simple fact is children are resourceful and are able to get drugs, despite those being prohibited to everyone, regardless of age. Only someone exercising magical thinking believes a city ordinance is somehow going to keep a 19 year old from getting a pack of cigarettes.
“They’re already addicted by 18,” Jonathan Brower, the owner of Waldo Vapes, told KMBC. “They’ve gotten cigarettes from their mother’s purse, their grandfather. Wherever.”
And the ordinance doesn’t fine people for having tobacco, so they can walk around with a box of Swisher Sweets without worry.
This isn’t just about tobacco, though. The ordinance impacts those who choose to enjoy vaping, also banning the sale to those below 21.
Because the state knows best. Take Councilman Kevin McManus for example, who says vape products are unregulated and unknown.
“Until more is known, it is right and proper thing and once more is known it will probably be the right and proper thing,” he said, according to Midtown KC Post.
Except, more is known:
There’s this 2012 Greek study that said “Absence of combustion and different chemical composition, leading to less toxic chemicals created and absorbed . . . electronic cigarettes may be a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes.”
Or this 2012 research paper that “found that the e-cigarette vapors contained some toxic substances. The levels of the toxicants were 9–450 times lower than in cigarette smoke and were, in many cases, comparable with trace amounts found in the reference product . . . our findings are consistent with the idea that substituting tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes may substantially reduce exposure to selected tobacco-specific toxicants.”
If that’s not good enough, there’s this 2012 study that concluded, “The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”
And even if vaping were to be dangerous to a person’s health, but no one else, telling an allegedly free person they couldn’t use it would not be “right and proper.”
The “right and proper” role of government is to secure the rights of the people, not to tell them what they can and can’t do like some moral busybody or nursery nanny.
The results of this aren’t just a possible reduction in smoking or vaping, but an acceptance of the expansion of government’s control on our lives. Over time, people have come to accept that it’s “right and proper” for government to tell us what we can put in our body, or do with our body.
Where does this end? For example, doesn’t it make it more difficult for a person to get a good paying job if they have facial tattoos? And isn’t poverty a leading reason for terrorism? So, doesn’t it follow that facial tattoos create an environment for terrorism?
Therefore, it should be illegal for anyone under 21 to get a facial tattoo, because if we don’t, the terrorists win.
Logic? That’s for suckers.
Facts? Irrelevant. Embrace the feels.
What’s important is keeping people safe, even from themselves.
Photo Credit: tiero/123rf