Pros and Cons of Raising Legal Vaping Age to 21


High schoolers practically rely on nicotine and vapes to relieve their stress or to fit in, but it won’t be like this for much longer. The legal smoking age is being moved from 18 to 21, which will make it much harder to gain access to these addicting products. Photo by Getty Images.

High schoolers all across the country have given way to society’s norms and surrendered to underage vaping within the past few years. About a month ago, President Donald Trump gave his stamp of approval on raising the purchasing age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. This law will go into effect at the beginning of summer 2020. With this new upcoming law, though, there comes many ups and downs.

Nearly all nicotine users start as kids or young adults, and these age groups are heavily targeted by the smoking industry. Increasing the tobacco and nicotine age will help to prevent young people from ever starting to smoke and reduce the deaths, diseases, and health care costs caused by tobacco use. 

Teenagers often turn to older friends and classmates as sources of vapes or E-Cigarettes. Increasing the nicotine consumption age to 21 would reduce the likelihood of a high school student being able to legally purchase vape products for themselves, other students and underage friends.

When asked if she supports the legal smoking age moving from 18 to 21, Junior Isabella Deview claims that she supports it 100 percent. “Underage vaping is bad because we have young kids as well as teens dying due to their lungs collapsing. It is also upsetting that most teens know the dangers of putting nicotine into their body but they do it anyway. I feel like changing the smoking age to 21 will help a lot of high schoolers get out of their nicotine addictions,” says Deview.

While increasing the nicotine consumption age is primarily a good thing, there are also a few possible downfalls. Some say that raising the age to 21 makes no sense when 18-year-olds can serve in the military, get married and enter into legal contracts. Sophomore Shanna Walden believes that people will try to find ways to break this new law. Walden expresses, “I don’t think it will change anything because if teenagers want nicotine, they will find ways to get it. I personally don’t vape, but I know people who do and they will go to extreme lengths to feed their addiction.”

We should do everything we can to prevent young people from vaping and save lives. Increasing the smoking age to 21 will help to achieve this goal. Hopefully, by the end of 2020, we can make our schools and school bathrooms vape free again.