Opinion: Cigarette Age Raise Solved Nothing

By Andrew McCready
Class of 2016

The town of Braintree has an all-around classic American lifestyle. Over 35,000 citizens live here and many of them are amazing people. However, in a town of this size, mixed feelings can occur when laws are passed.

In October 2014, the age to purchase tobacco products in Braintree was raised from eighteen to twenty one. This change is causing people who had previously been of age to legally buy cigarettes in Braintree to waste their gas and time only to travel one town over so they get a pack.

Cigarettes in Braintree

One of the biggest problems with this law is the money loss. Smoking isn’t stopping and Braintree is losing profits for little more than an inconvenience. Braintree is trying to follow towns like Ashland, Dedham, and Arlington in a battle against underage smoking. Braintree joining the crusade is reasonable but they’re going about it wrong. The end of underage smoking won’t come by raising the number of underage smokers. The end of underage smoking will come in the words of guidance from parents, role-models, and peers.

A cigarette company’s crown jewel in advertising is that smoking is the “cool” thing to do. Making it even more illegal only gives lighting up a smoke an image that smoking is rebellious. Smoking is a freedom that people have the right to do. However serious education and advertisement on the risks of smoking and the real life struggles that it causes needs to increase.

Braintree’s tobacco laws are frustrating to all those involved. Only time can tell how the town will handle this problem. In a changing world new laws are going to be passed. However, many citizens are upset with the way this rules is being put into place. Perhaps more things should be taken to a vote rather than decided by a few.