Our friends in the Big Apple, are proposing raising the minimum age for cigarette purchases, from 18 to 21 years of age. So, what do you think? Should Texas do the same, or not?

NYC has tried for over 10 years to make stricter laws concerning smoking in the city. This latest try, raising the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, is aimed to stop young people, from even starting the habit. Official reports show that eighty percent of the city’s smokers started lighting up before they were 21,

But the proposal is already getting questioned on it's effectiveness and fairness. One retailer suggested that the younger group would just purchase their cigarettes outside of the city, in neighboring communities or corner-store cigarette sellers.

Under federal law, no one under 18 can buy tobacco anywhere in the country. Four states and some localities have raised the age to 19, and at least two communities have agreed to raise it to 21.

What about Texas?

There has been a similar proposal bouncing around in the Texas Legislature, but it’s presently "on hold" because a budget board estimated it would cost the state more than $42 million in cigarette tax revenue over two years. In other words money trumps our youths health. Most public heatlth and anti-smoking advocates agree. They consider the cost to the government is nothing, compared to smoking’s toll on human lives. They also believe a higher minimum age for buying tobacco discourages, or at least delays, young people from starting smoking and so their health risks are lower.

According to The Washington Post.com reported Susan M. Liss, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids had to say on the issue:

 “Curtailing smoking among these age groups is critical to winning the fight against tobacco and reducing the deaths, disease and health care costs it causes,”

It’s already illegal for many of them to buy cigarettes, but raising the minimum age would also bar slightly older friends from buying smokes for them.

 City officials cited statistical modeling, published in the journal Health Policy, that estimated that raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 nationally could cut the smoking rate by two-thirds among 14-to-17-year-olds and by half among 18-to-20-year-olds over 50 years. Texas budget officials projected a one-third reduction in tobacco product use by 18-to-20-year-olds.

Me? I say yes, and while we're at it, I also propose to raise the age of driving, from 16 - 18 years old!

So what do you think? Should Texas follow suit with NYC, or not?