Raising the smoking age?

Feb 09, 2018

Senator David Watters (D-Dover) is sponsoring SB 545, a 2018 bill that would increase the minimum age to buy or possess tobacco products. Currently New Hampshire, like most states, allows adults age 18 and over to purchase and smoke cigarettes. Read more about this issue. 

"Should New Hampshire raise its smoking age from 18 to 21?"

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page January 30, 2018

185 citizens responded142 citizens were opposed to raising the smoking age22 citizens were in favor of raising the smoking age21 citizens said other

What Participants Said

No: 142 citizens were opposed to raising the smoking age from 18 to 21.

  • “I hate smoking, always have but if you can go off and fight (possibly die) for your country at 18 then if you want to poison yourself with tobacco you should be able to.”
  • “Why? Youth smoking rates are dropping. It seems to me like more legislation isn't needed.”
  • “Considering most smokers report starting smoking well before 18 (usually around age 13); what difference do you really think raising the legal age will make? Zero.”

Yes: 22 citizens were in favor of raising the smoking age from 18 to 21.

  • “Yes… But better yet make tobacco products illegal.”
  • “Yes, I started at 16. It was easy to get them when I got 18 year old friends in school. I hate that I started and have tried to stop but have been unsuccessful. I think it would prevent ease of access for teens.”
  • “Yes, everything should be 21 and up.”

Other: 21 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Alternative policies: “Legalize marijuana. It doesn’t kill. Cigarettes kill.”
  • Age of maturity: “There's no single age that works for all.  Some reach full mental maturity earlier.  Others may live to a hundred and never really become adults.”
  • Cost: “You'd think that simply the cost of cigarettes would make everyone stop. $7 a pack?!”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

Related Bill

SB 545 (2018)
Bill Status: Tabled in the Senate
Hearing date: Jan 18, 2018

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