At What Cost Should We Stop Teen Smoking?

Published July 2, 2008

The policies you suggest in your July 2 editorial, “States slack off on snuffing out teen smoking,” might lower teen smoking rates a couple of percentage points, but at what cost to the general population and economy? Advocating that state governments act as a de facto nanny to these young adults, who generally know the risks associated with smoking, is outrageous.

Enforcing the existing smoking age minimums already on the books is justified but government shouldn’t be placing additional burdens on the greater general public for the alleged “betterment” of a select few. Cigarette tax hikes and smoking bans unfairly burden low income taxpayers and punish local businesses.

Instead of relying on the government to parent American teens on the effects of smoking, we would better serve the community as a whole to let parents, community, and businesses self-regulate.

John Nothdurft ([email protected]) is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.