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Mitch McConnell Wants to Raise Smoking, Vaping Age to 21

Mitch McConnell Wants to Raise Smoking, Vaping Age to 21

More hand holding from the government.

Oh this will help bring in the young voters! Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to introduce a bill to raise the smoking and vaping age to 21.

We obviously need the government to look out for us because education alone hasn’t taught us the harm that comes with smoking cigarettes.

From The New York Times:

Mr. McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader whose home state, Kentucky, is the nation’s second-largest tobacco producer, said he was motivated by the increasing rate of vaping among teenagers and young adults.

Public health agencies have cracked down on e-cigarette companies and distributors in an effort to curb access to the products.

“For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children,” Mr. McConnell said at a news conference Thursday in Louisville, Ky. “In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults.”

Yes, we need more laws and hand holding from the government.

I have smoked on and off since I turned 18. When my doctor diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis, I had to give up alcohol and took up the smoking habit again for a vice. I know the risks. I know what it does. Yet I choose to do it. You don’t have to lecture me. I get enough from my mother.

You become a legal adult when you’re 18. You receive education throughout school, starting in elementary school, about the risks of smoking. People who pick it up knows the risks unless they have no intelligence.

It is hard to quit. I’ve backed off a little bit.

Reason cited data from 2016 that “cigarette smoking among U.S. adults stood at about 15.5 percent, down from 20.9 percent a decade or so earlier and around 42 percent in the 1960s.”

Vaping has also helped people quit smoking. While it’s not ideal, vaping can keep kids away from cigarettes.

Tobacco companies have come out in support of the measure. I imagine they did because it will not affect them much. More from The New York Times:

Tobacco and vaping companies have gotten on board, too, partly in an apparent effort to distance themselves from accusations that they have deliberately marketed their products to youth to hook a new generation. Altria, Juul and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company all have said they back raising the minimum age.

“We commend Senator McConnell for announcing this legislation as we strongly support raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21,” said Kevin Burns, chief executive of Juul. “Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem — sharing by legal-age peers — and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth usage rates.”

Altria and R. J. Reynolds also praised the senator and noted that they had also supported state Tobacco 21 efforts. David Sutton, an Altria spokesman, said that so far this year eight states had passed such legislation, which brings the number of states with Tobacco 21 laws to 14 as well as the District of Columbia; two of the measures await signing.

As Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason said, it makes them look good. But she reminded readers that this will open doors to “black market cigarettes, busts of teens vaping, undercover inspections at local shops.”

Once again, if people under the age of 21 wants a cigarette or to vape, they will find a way.

You can enlist in the military at 18, go fight wars overseas, but yet you cannot smoke tobacco.

It may appear like a little thing to most people, but I don’t take anything lightly that interferes with a consumer’s choice or an individual right.


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Right, because so many people out here were terrified by 20-yr old smokers and vapers that we lobbied our government endlessly and cocaine Mitch finally answers our prayers.

UnCivilServant | April 19, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Mitch, I know you’re not used to winning, but sabotaging 2020 is not the way to cope. Put the bill away and focus on judicial appointments for a while.

    Rather see him,

    ~~~ raise the voting age to 30

    ~~~ eliminate withholding of federal taxes from paychecks and have everyone make quarterly estimated tax payments by check (as done prior to 1942)

    ~~~ make Voting Day on April 25th

    Then maybe we’d see some changes in government.

EveryOtherDaySensei | April 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, cause the existing laws preventing those under 18 from smoking or vaping is just working swimmingly isn’t it? You got kids vaping in the bathroom at my local middle school and during field trips.

Raising the age will completely solve the problem.

They’ve also raised the age to own firearms to 21 in some states. If you have to be 21 to be an adult, then they should raise the voting age as well. Tell that to the Democrats.

    rabid wombat in reply to OldProf2. | April 19, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    The age of majority is the age of majority…

    13 and you pay adult prices to watch a movie, but you can not see adult movies
    18 register for the draft and vote, but cannot buy a pistol or beer
    An adult in criminal prosecution seems to vary
    26 can still be a dependent….

      I have to wonder if MItch gets the Ds to agree that people under the age of 21 can’t be trusted to own guns, drink, smoke, then how can they be trusted to vote or get an abortion when they are 14-16 years old.

      Is Mitch trying to pull a Trump?

        p1cunnin in reply to Liz. | April 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm

        I’m not sure McConnell is that smart, but he does open the door to that conversation the next time the Dims think 16 is a responsible age for voters.

You should listen to your mother! 😉

The Friendly Grizzly | April 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Shouldn’tt this be a state issue?

caseoftheblues | April 19, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Oldprof2 is right…if 21 is the age when you can make big decisions then the voting age should be raised NOT lowered to 15 or 16 like the Dems want…and while they are at it I don’t think 13 and 14 year olds should be able to get abortions without their parents knowing either…just saying

Raise the voting age to 21.

Cocaine Mitch: the anti-federalist. Go figure.

“Your rights end with the “needs” of the “common good”. Be content to be a worker bee or drone. You have the individual right to be pushed out of the hive when no longer useful or dead.”

Tacitus nailed it… “once we were burdened with crime, now we are burdened with laws”. Mitch… quit this destined to fail attempt at social engineering.

Big mistake.

Could make big inroads by freeing vaping culture from its assault by big pharma and big tobacco, and win the favor of tons of young voters who would see the issues with big government …

… or just join the Democrats by building a nanny state and once again become the party of “not as bad as the other guys”

Truly have the party of stupid snatching defeat once again. Of all the things we could be doing – this is our big accomplishment coming into 2020?


Nope, no. No no no. Unless Mitch adds to his bill that Federal Pot law will be enforced ; albeit, any state that has passed Pot legalization and has been collecting tax on said sales, it deemed illegal tax on a illegal product. All taxes collected shall be forfeited to the US Treasury.

That should kill this stupid bill.

Now that the D’rats are out of the closet and are explicitly the party of democratic-social-communism, outright infanticide, and of course their usual rampant racism and sexism, the R’s have an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that they actually stand for something worthwhile, just as they did in 1860.

But this ain’t it.

How about dealing with the wall instead.

If an 18 year can enter in to a legal contract and be drafted in the military, stop the crap. Give them full adult rights (ie including drinking) otherwise change the voting and draft ages to reflect it. This game playing is so unfair to 18 year old adults.


Don’t like McConnell. And I don’t give him credit for withholding the scotus vote – that’s his job as republican senate majority boss. He’s routinely snubbed the president.

And now he’s sh1tposting legislation – as if America were his personal reddit page. Because that’s what this is – crap posing as considered thought. I feel trolled by this sort phony political concern. And Mary? no need for personal disclaimers. McConnell is a putz.

When and where traditional GOPe conservatism becomes myopic.

How is this even a federal issue?

Antifundamentalist | April 19, 2019 at 3:16 pm

They need to just decide when an adult is actually and adult and be done – ONE age for, Voting, Enlisting,Drinking, Driving with a full drivers’ liscense, owning property, applying for a marriage liscense, having custody of a minor child, etc.

But that would just be too simple.

The time for age discrimination has past. Either you are or are not an adult at eighteen.

If you are then activety enjoyed be the aged should be available be those at eighteen.

So roll back legal age to 21 and not allow those under 21 to enlist or be drafted.

amatuerwrangler | April 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm

I am a bit confused on his. Wasn’t the vaping supposed to be a substitute for smoking cigarettes? People who could not quit smoking because they were hooked on the nicotine could get their nicotine without having to take in all those nasty by-products of the burning tobacco and paper. And the vapor was “harmless”, so no second-hand smoke issues. Now its as bad as smoking; and in just a few years.

On another level, what happened to Liberty? A person no longer has a right to ruin their own life? As the post above says, we are taught at a young age, and nagged about it until death, of the bad things that smoking and alcohol and drug abuse can do, so it should come as no surprise that when you ignore this free information your life will not be ideal. But people think that no matter how much they f— up their lives, the government should rescue them, and spend the money of the people who stayed the course to pay for it.

    iconotastic in reply to amatuerwrangler. | April 19, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    In my state (Washington) the state government hates vaping. The only reason is that cigarettes return $622M a year in taxes (one of the highest in the nation) and vaping taxes not only does not return anywhere near as much but because vaping weans people off cigarettes it (vaping) reduces cigarette revenue.

Puff the hallucinating dragon has a profit and consensus (PC) demand.

That said, end selective-child a.k.a. “Pro-Choice” (the wicked solution) and other forms of age discrimination, summary judgments, and cruel and unusual punishment. #HateLovesAbortion

Two studies are hyped all over the internet- that teenage smoking is now 10%, the lowest it’s ever been, and that the fact that teenagers have dramatically increased tobacco use.

What nobody is bothering to understand is that the kids aren’t smoking the tobacco, they’re using an e-cigarette. They actually listened to all those messages and are ingesting the nicotine in a less dangerous way.

The vast majority of teenagers aren’t even vaping tobacco, Mitch! Stick to getting the judges confirmed and the wall built please. I am so disgusted with these “lawmakers”.

Closely related: I am getting certified to sell insurance and was seeing the ease of fraud in SS disability claims for “depression” and for a moment, I saw the logic in going after 2A rights in these cases to discourage shitbird fraud…

THEN I thought to myself…wait, this problem would not exist if the government hadn’t entrenched itself so deeply into our lives to create the opportunity for fraud in the first place. NO! _ I _ WANT _ LESS.

“We’re from the government, and we’re here to help”

So explain to me again why the federal government has any authority about the age to buy cigarettes?

Why would the federal government implicate itself into such a woeful market place?

Get a set, prohibit the sale of such products .

Taking a profit from any addiction is a standard of evil.

Republicans wrote the book on how to lose elections.

What the Sandra Fluck is wrong with these people?

Because we’d rather have our elected representatives solve the oh-so important issue of smoking and vaping rather than the border crisis, the government’s debt problem or approve the USMCA?

I have officially given up on our House and Senate.

You can enlist in the military at 18
can actually enlist at 17 under DEP as long as 18 when start basic and DEP used to count towards time in grade served.

but I digress, many have prob seen my posts about solidifying age of adulthood in the laws.
tired of this sliding scale crap.

The “Blessings of Liberty” be damned; a scummy politician’s lust for more extra-constitutional power can’t be denied.

assemblerhead | April 21, 2019 at 8:00 am

This is Mitch making sure the Repubs LOOSE the upcoming elections.