By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The Parsons Advocate is going to bring back an old idea but with a different approach. A reporter will set out to obtain feedback from across the county on how the residents feel. Responses received may be used in the periodical article, and a name and photograph must be associated with each response in future publications.
The current topic is how locals feel about raising the legal age to purchase and use tobacco products from 18 to 21. Last year, President Trump signed a bill that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from the age of 18 to 21, this also includes e-cigarette items.
The age of 18 has been in effect nationwide since the 1990s. The intention of this new law is to discourage the younger generations from using any form of tobacco, but especially that of the vaping products.
In a recent Board of Education meeting, two attorneys attended to request the board to join them in litigation against JUUL for targeting high school aged children for their products, leading to what some refer to as an epidemic. Here are what locals are saying in regards to the legal age being changed from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco and related products.
“I wish kids wouldn’t smoke, so I’m in favor of it. I wish they would make better personal choices.” -Scott Custer, Canaan Valley
“I agree with it because it’ll keep people healthier.” -Kristy Auvil, Pifer Mountain
“I can see the point,” began another individual. “But how are you going to ask them to fight for our country and not let them smoke a cigarette.” -Crystal Shoemaker, Thomas
“I don’t necessarily agree with it. I feel like if you’re already doing it, you’re going to do it regardless of age and you’re going to find ways to get it anyways.” -Danny Sharp, Parsons
“It’s a good thing because you can’t ruin your lungs as quick.” -Shelby Gooden, Clover
“I think it’s a good thing.” -Carolyn Nicholas, resident of Whitmer, works in Thomas
“In my opinion, I don’t smoke, but I think if you can serve at 18 you should be able to drink and smoke.” -Chelsey Hammonds, resident of Belington
“I’ve seen the destruction of it; cancer and illness. When it’s addictive, it takes lives, so I’d rather not see them (others) not smoke at all so I’m for it.” -Reverend Pat Cassidy, Location
“When a person is 18, they can serve our country, they can drive a car, they can leave home and go to college, they can go to work, they can have a family, but they can’t smoke? I just don’t think it will make a difference whether or not someone will smoke if the price of cigarettes didn’t do it.” -Sylvia Owens, Parsons
“I don’t agree because there’s not a whole lot an 18 year old can look forward to at that age except serving in the military or working. They’re legally allowed to do what they want and considered ann adult at 18.” -Donna Cross, Parsons
“I have no real personal lean towards 18 or 21, but I personally feel that age to make adult decisions should be well beyond 18 years and that should go straight across the board for any and all things regarding what you can or cannot do legally.” -Shaena Crossland, Thomas