The illegality of substances pushes teens to obtain them from the black market where they are unregulated and possibly unsafe.
Earlier this month, the Georgia Senate voted in favour of the bill which is focused on vaping and its impact on young adults. It passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate, and the excise tax placed on vaping products is executed to generate approximately $4.3 billion each year. “We’re just trying to do it for the safety of the kids, that’s the bottom line,” said Walker County School Nurse John Logan.
In line with the new law, anyone under 21 caught with a vaping device, will have their e-cigarette confiscated and be punished with a fine or community service. When a device is confiscated, it will become the property of the state and be destroyed. “I have a cabinet just absolutely full of these devices that I’ve taken from these kids,” said Walker County Sheriff Deputy Bruce Coker. If the punishment is not fulfilled, students will have their driving licence suspended.
Do tobacco age limits work?
Meanwhile experts have different opinions about implementing such tobacco age limits. Discussing such legislations in 2017, Richard J. Thoune, a health officer for the Jackson County Health Department, had argued that since 95% of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21, such age limits make sense as the earlier a person starts to smoke, the harder it is for them to curb the habit.
On the other end of the stick, State Government Relations Manager from the The Heartland Institute Lindsey Stroud, had rightly pointed out that the illegality of other substances does not stop youngsters from consuming them. On the contrary, it just pushes them to obtain these substances illegally, at times from the black market where they are unregulated and possibly unsafe. “The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in its Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs 58% of 12th graders reported consuming alcohol in 2015.”
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