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San Antonio Officials Seek Opinions on Increasing the Smoking Age

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The Tobacco 21 proposal is up for debate in San Antonio, and city officials want to know what residents think. The plan calls for upping the legal age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 in order to prevent teenagers from becoming addicted. The Tobacco 21 website explains, “That early exposure permanently alters neuro-receptors in the deepest, most ancient parts of the brain that then manifests as ongoing desire or addiction. Preventing that early inoculation requires a concerted societal and political strategy including school-based education, reduced media exposure, counter-marketing, tobacco and smoke free homes and public areas and youth access restrictions.”

KSAT says that in Bexar County, 12.6 percent of male high school students smoke, as well as 10 percent of female high school students. Changing the age limit of purchasing tobacco products could lower this number, but not everyone is on board. Some business owners worry that it could hurt their sales, and others think that teens will just find their way around the law. Gabriel Mendez from Thanks for Vaping told the news, “If they can’t get it, then there’s always going to be an alternative to either asking mom, dad, cousin, sibling, whatever, to come get it for them.”

If you’re a San Antonio resident and wish to take the survey click here.