In news that will shock many, anger some and confuse most, the Federal government has officially raised the legal purchase age of tobacco products in all 50 states to 21 years old.
The legislation follows other recent advancements on anti-tobacco advocacy with new restrictions being levied against so-called “vaping” products.
While many might agree with the result, the method is sure to turn heads. The massive nationwide turn was not passed after debate on the house and senate floor or with a bill titled the S.M.O.K.E. Act or some other kitschy acronym, commonplace in congressional legislative circles.
Instead, this incredible shift was passed as a part of a massive annual government spending bill. While “pork” or other line-items have been the standard in Washington for generations, this particular instance is sure to make Americans scratch their heads as the measure was snuck into a spending bill when the context of the move has nothing to do with annual appropriations.
Supporters of the move tend to lay their support at a general disapproval of the habit. Opponents seem to be a much more diverse crowd and is made up of smokers and non-smokers alike that point to the backdoor way legislation was passed into law via a spending bill and the odd dichotomy of an 18 year old being able to enlist in active duty military, something one could justifiably considered to pose a rather dangerous risk to their health, but forbade from purchasing alcohol or tobacco products due to their harmful effects.
Regardless of the feeling Americans may have regarding the intent of the legislation, it seems that the method Congress took to achieve it is likely to leave a bad taste in their mouth; perhaps far worse than that of tobacco smoke.