Teenage Smoking Essay Research Paper This is — страница 2

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the same time. The government has issued regulations to limit the accessibility and appeal of tobacco products to young people. Steps to control underage smoking have not helped. Even under penalty of the law, businesses continue to sell tobacco products to minor. Vendors now have to card any one who is under the age of 27. It is a burden for minimum wage employees to play a constant age guessing game. The government is punishing the vendors, but not the teens. The government has also raised the price of cigarettes, but many teens don’t think this will stop them. In an article published in the Akron Beacon Journal, 16-year-old Zach Naugle of Covington Kentucky said, “It’s not going to make me quit because I’ve got a job and I’m making money to buy cigarettes not matter

what they cost.” A solution to this gigantic problem would be for Ohio to set up a state law that would penalize minors for possession and use of tobacco. Currently, state law prohibits teens from purchasing cigarettes, but there is now law prohibiting them from using them. Seems backward, doesn’t it? Punishment for teens caught smoking would be a fine of up to $250, attendance at a day long tobacco-awareness class and 4 hours of community service. Those who skip class, community service, or fail to come to court, would lose their license for up to 180 days and have a warrant issued for their arrest once they turn 18. For teens who do not yet have a license, they will have to wait 6 month after they apply for a license to get one. Stiffer penalties would be given for repeat

offenses. But, will it work? This type of law, one that makes it illegal for teens to smoke, has been used in states such as Washington, Texas, and Illinois. Their laws are constructed similarly to this proposal, including prohibition and punishment. So far, in Texas, 164 teenagers has their driver’s license suspended for tobacco-related offenses, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Also, 3,000 youths have taken the tobacco-awareness course since the anti- smoking law took effect. In, Morrison County, Illinois, police chief, Bob Snodgrass said that “underage smoking, once prevalent on the streets, has become rare since their law went into effect.” In Vancouver, Washington, most adult and teens, despite whether they smoked, believe the law is a good thing,

according to interviews conducted by their local news, KOIN. Nineteen-year-old, Tony Smith was safe from the new law, but said he never would have started smoking if the law was around a few years ago. This proposal to make teen smoking illegal will work because teens would fear the punishment. Teenagers don’t like community service, or the idea of spending their entire Saturday at an anti-smoking class. Tony Smith said, “Oh no, I wouldn’t smoke because I wouldn’t want to pay that 50 bucks and do to classes!” A fine of $50 to $250 is serious money for most teenagers. Even if a teen holds down a part time job, he or she makes near minimum-wage. A fine of that size could mean one or two paychecks. It is enough that a teen that wants to smoke has to pay outrageous prices

for cigarettes, but there would also be the fear of having to pay a huge fine. Why would any teen want to start? Enforcement of this policy would certainly lower the percentages of teens that smoke. It would be enforced the same way underage drinking is. If a police officer sees a young person drinking, he or she would ask for I.D. and then follow procedure from there. The only difference in this would be that police officers would also have to watch out for underage smokers, not just drinkers. One idea, to ensure that the law is enforced would be that for each time a police officer cites a teen for smoking, a percentage of the fine that the teen would pay, would go to the officer. This would be an added incentive for police to keep their eye out. The advantages of this policy

would be it’s simplicity. The teenagers are punished for smoking illegally. Police officers would want to keep an eye out because of the simplicity and the incentive. There wouldn’t be much extra work. When Illinois introduced it’s law, lawmakers it said that the penalties against minors would work in conjunction with existing laws against merchants as an overall attack on underage smoking. If Ohio were to do the same thing, teenage smoking could really be cut down. Maybe other states would follow our example. The benefits of this policy would be tremendous to our country and our population. If fewer teens start smoking, years from now there will be fewer adult smokers, which means fewer smoking-related deaths. Health care costs could be cut dramatically. The government