Texarkana, TX 57° View Live Radar Sat H 50° L 46° Sun H 58° L 38° Mon H 49° L 38° Weather Sponsored By:

Smoking age: Should legal minimum age for buying, using tobacco be raised to 21?

Smoking age: Should legal minimum age for buying, using tobacco be raised to 21?

February 9th, 2018 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

Many readers can remember when 18 was the legal age to drink alcohol in Texas and a number of other states.

That changed in the 1980s, and for decades now 21 has been the legal drinking age across the land.

But there is something still legal at 18 that many feel is much worse than having a beer or shot of whisky. That's smoking.

In most states it's legal for an 18-year-old to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products. A few states and some cities have stricter laws. While all states have a minimum purchase age, though, few have a minimum legal age for using tobacco.

Both Texas and Arkansas have set the minimum age for buying and smoking at 18.

Proponents say if you raise the smoking age fewer people will ever start smoking. That means residents are healthier, which would save money on medical care and prevent lost work hours and the like.

Foes raise fears of the "nanny state."

We want to know what you think. Do you support raising the age to legally buy and smoke cigarettes to 21? Or do you think 18 should remain the legal age?

Send your response (50 words maximum) to opinion@texarkanagazette.com by Wednesday, Feb. 14. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504, or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St., Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.


Last Week: Chief Wahoo?

Last week's question was about the controversy over sports teams' use of Native American names and imagery. Should sports teams keep Native American references, including team names and symbols like Chief Wahoo, even if some find them offensive? Or do you believe they no longer have any place in professional sports?

The teams that have used for profit Indian connotations—ie: Washington Redskins—should either have at least two thirds, or more of their players be American native Indians, or pick a new name.—J.B., Texarkana, Ark.

Why would anyone think using the Indians or Chief Wahoo is anything other than a compliment?! Any sports team will pick a mascot that is strong and mighty. Why would it be considered mockery? Indian warriors and chiefs were considered strong leaders of their tribes.—C.H., Texarkana, Texas

Is the Minnesota Vikings logo an insult to blond, white guys?—J.B., Texarkana, Ark.


From facebook.com/texarkanagazette

  •  If they can take down Confederate statues because people find it offensive and do away with the Confederate flag because of that, then why can't people understand how this would be offensive to Native Americans after what happened to them?
  •  I find those people, that think that it's offensive, well offensive! Can we remove them as well? However, everyone has the right to be offended or not. The problem is the some people try to force their beliefs on others when they don't have a dog in the fight. That is where I have the issue. Unfortunately we live in a society that is offended by everything.
  •  Sooooo.no more Minnesota Vikings?
Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com