The Joplin, Mo.
---- — The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly this week to bar smokers younger than 21 from buying cigarettes, other tobacco products and even electronic-vapor smokes in the Big Apple.
A councilman quoted by The Associated Press said he believes this will save many lives, and other parts of the country are looking at similar laws to set higher age minimums for tobacco sales.
Efforts to deter young people from smoking are commendable, but this law will do little to solve the problem of nicotine addiction among youth. According to the American Lung Association, most smokers try their first cigarette around age 11. Seventy percent of adult smokers started before they turned 18, and many were addicted by age 14.
If America wants to keep children and teenagers from smoking, current laws must be enforced, and those who sell to minors must be prosecuted.
In addition, aggressive education must start at early ages.