Image 01 Image 03

San Francisco Raises Legal Age to Buy Cigarettes to 21

San Francisco Raises Legal Age to Buy Cigarettes to 21

California: Where liberty for citizens goes up in smoke.

The last time we visited the city of San Francisco, it had just installed open-air urinals because of rampant public urination problem.

This sanctuary city was also the focus of national attention when, during a family outing to the Pier 14, Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal immigrant who had a long-term criminal history and had been deported 5 times.

In its infinite wisdom, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has decided that the continuing “quality of life” crisis it is now experiencing can be best resolved by limiting the purchasing freedoms of its young adults.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the measure on Tuesday, according to CNN affiliate KPIX. With this new legislation, San Francisco joins Boston, New York and more than 100 other U.S. cities in raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. On January 1, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to raise its smoking age to 21.

This continues a nationwide trend. San Francisco joins Boston, New York City, Cleveland and more than 100 U.S. cities that have voted to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21.

A report issued by the nonprofit, non-governmental organization Institute of Medicine in 2015 found that among adults who became daily smokers, about 90 percent tried their first cigarette before the age of 19, and almost 100 percent report first use before age 26. In June 2015, the Institute of Medicine was reinstituted as part of the National Academy of Sciences and renamed the National Academy of Medicine.

The report concludes that overall, raising the minimum legal age for tobacco products would likely delay or prevent the initial use of tobacco by teens and young adults.

However, in many areas (including San Francisco), marijuana purchase is quite legal for young adults.’

California residents 18 and older can obtain a medicinal marijuana recommendation from a licensed physician, buy and possess up to a half a pound of marijuana, as well as grow plants for personal consumption.

I can’t begin to imagine the furor if this rule were applied to some other choice, such as abortion.

Federal Drug Administration cannot raise the minimum legal age nationwide; that power resides in state and local government. Interestingly, one of the driving forces behind this new effort is the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among teens.

Therefore, picking up where San Francisco left off, the California Assembly has approved a series of measures that include not only raising the age of cigarette purchase, but bans the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, theaters and other public places where traditional smoking is prohibited.

Lawmakers cited the health risks of tobacco in approving six bills and sending them to the state Senate, which had previously acted on the smoking-age and vaping bills but must now vote on minor amendments.

Republicans said it was unfair to take away the decision on whether to smoke from young people who are old enough to marry, vote, sign contracts and join the military.

“You can give your life but you can’t buy a pack of cigarettes,” said Republican leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley, who opposed the bill.

California: Where liberty for citizens goes up in smoke.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Bu…bu…but I thought it was those bad ol’ repressive conservatives who want to prohibit everything…?!?!

One cannot vape in a public place??? Why? Because it LOOKS like smoking? Wooba-wooba…!!! The “smoking demon” cannot be evoked, even by appearance!

I can’t recall who observed this, but generally, as any government concerns itself with increasingly trying to control minutia, the MORE it simply abdicates its original reasons to exist.

stevewhitemd | March 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm

There is a simple way to handle this and to gore the progressives at the same time.

Equalize the age at which one can buy cigarettes, buy liquor, be drafted, vote, and come off the parents’ health care insurance.

You want to vote at 18? Sure, and you can buy cigarettes and liquor then as well. But you come off your parents’ insurance.

You want to stay on your parents’ insurance until 26? Sure, but you can’t vote until then, nor buy a drink.

And so on. Imagine the fun we could have with our progressive friends as they try to explain how it is that you’re adult enough to vote at 18 but not adult enough to handle vice and health care.

This smacks of typical liberal process. Everything is about control. Not smoking is a good idea, but should every good idea become law?

    Lenina Huxley: Ah, smoking is not good for you, and it’s been deemed that anything not good for you is bad; hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat… Bad language, chocolate, gasoline, uneducational toys and anything spicy.
    – Demolition Man

I have no problem with this but the voting age should be 21 also.

San Francisco just enriched gangsters by creating a market for cigarette smuggling.

Though the wonderful idea of mutilation by tattoo at age 18 will remain a thriving storefront industry.

    I’m not sure that there will be much smuggling, simply because SF is so small geographically that it’s easy to go to, for example, Daly City to buy cigarettes. There will, of course, be a loss of business by SF.

    On a different point, I wonder what the minimum age is to buy marijuana in SF.

      Ragspierre in reply to Iowa Jim. | March 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Practically, it’s 8, I think.

      Younger with parental permission.

        Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | March 6, 2016 at 5:51 pm


        Of course, it’s not legal for kids to buy pot, but medicinal marijuana is all over the high schools, and very likely the middle schools.

        …..And, they teach the kids that, if you’re going to use something, it should be pot or nitrous oxide because they’re relatively safe.

        So, my kids are dead set against smoking and vaping, and they think that alcohol is poison. They think I am nuts for objecting to pot and nitrous oxide.

        Thank you, California school system.

    I’m not sure there is a lot of demand for cigarettes in the 18-21 demo at the moment. I could be wrong, though.
    I remember when California banned indoor smoking in the 90’s everyone was threatening civil disobedience. L-O-L.

Orwellington | March 6, 2016 at 3:21 pm

I view this as one more way to weaken the military. In my opinion, anyone old enough to join the military is old enough to get married, buy alcohol, buy tobacco, and buy a gun. If that age is eighteen, so be it.

    Owego in reply to Orwellington. | March 7, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I dunno. You can still “smoke’em if you got’em” in the Army (in designated smoking areas and you still have to field strip the butt), but those little five-butt boxes of cigarettes that used to come in rations are no more. If you want one you’ve gotta bum it or buy it.

All is not lost, it’s still okay to pee in public in SF.