Smoking Bans

Watch Anthony Fisher Defend the Rights of 18-Year-Old Smokers on HuffPost Live

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I appeared on HuffPost Live this afternoon as the voice of reason (get it?) in a conversation about raising the smoking age of consent to 21. I argued that cigarette smoking is unhealthy for anyone of any age, but at a certain point adults should be endowed with the rights and responsibilites of adults, like serving in the military, paying taxes and even (gasp) consuming alcohol and nicotine. 

Joining me in the conversation were host Nancy Redd, and arguing for raising the smoking age to 21: Dr. Robin Mermelstein of the University of Illinois and Dr. Jane Fogg of the Needham, MA Board of Health.

Watch the whole segment below.

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  1. I would just ask, how can somebody who can’t be trusted with a cigarette be trusted with a ballot?

    1. It’s incredible to allow one and not the other.

    2. I’m sure that will be raised eventually too.

      1. Probably, but not the age at which one can be shot and killed by those decreed enemies by TopMen.

    3. I’ve been wondering about this. You’re smart enough to vote at 18, too dumb to drink until you’re 21, and so economically helpless that you have to be on your parent’s health insurance until you’re 26.

      1. I’m not so sure 18 is the age when you’re smart enough to vote.

    4. The League of Women Voters in my area is proposing DECREASING the voting age to 16 – I leave it to the commenters here to guess the party affiliation…

      1. Are you kidding? They should raise voting age if you ask me. This country can barely graduate kids who can read and write, and we give them the right to vote at 18?

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  2. I’d argue that a woman named Fogg can’t be assumed to be unbiased on the issue of smoking.

  3. The age thresholds for different things have kept increasing every few decades.

    1. SO in 100 years everyone will have to be 35 before they can do anything but work and drive?

    2. Except voting. The minimum age was 21 until the 26th Amendment, July 1, 1971, lowered it to 18. The election after I turned 21.

      1. Quibble:

        Before the attempt to change the voting age began on the federal level, setting the
        age was a state function. Several states had a lower voting age. Georgia had 18
        from 1943. What many people forget is that we got the 26th Amendment through
        the now familiar Federal Whipsaw. Just as we got “change your drinking age to
        21 or you will lose highway money,” an extension of the Voting Rights Act tried to
        lower the age by ordinary legislation. SCOTUS struck that down as it affected state
        and local offices, but allowed if for Federal elections. So the 21 (or 19, or whatever)
        states would have to have kept separate books, and spend more money. So the
        states caved and ratified 26 in record time.

        Even more stupidly, Nixon ended the draft, mooting the “if you are old enough to be
        forced to fight for your country…” argument.

        Maybe we ought to ditch fixed voting ages, ages of majority and adopt an
        “are you actually emancipated from your parents” standard. Y’know, living
        on your own resources, rather than on handouts from Mumsy and Papa.
        Or (dare I say it…?) from the state?

        I know, a bridge too far.

        Kevin R

  4. So Mermelstein wants to just ban smoking period, and the other one sees no problem with banning kids from using anyone.

    I hate these people.

    1. People must be made to do what’s best for them has been the motto of these public health types

      1. I was watching a Ron Swanson (parks and recreation) bit where I presume he was being the “crazy libertarian” *points and rolls eyes*

        Strangely, everything he said made perfect sense. He said he wanted to live in a world where people could eat whatever bad food they wanted and die of a heart attack at 50. *laughs*

        When you consider the polar opposite of this world, it seems kind of… awful, no?

        1. The polar-opposite world seems awful…

        2. Yes. Ones life is ones own. Different people might make different decisions on what to do with it. Someone might think the pleasure of eating French fries or smoking or whatever is worth the increased risk in mortality. These people want to be Prufrocks for other people’s lives

  5. Also, Cigarettes or Cigars or Pipe tobacco are enjoyable. So fuck you very much for saying that there is nothing good about these things.

    1. I have actually had an anti-smoking fanatic assure me that I don’t enjoy smoking cigars, I just think I do.

      Said what?!?!

      I told him that when he could explain to me, without resorting to jargon, the precise difference between enjoying something and thinking I enjoy something, then we could talk. And until then, sit down and button your lip, sonny, the adults are talking.

      I believe he was insulted. Good.

  6. Where’s Hugh to tell us this is necessary because Meth sells itself?

  7. I first read the title of this article as “Watch Anthony Wiener defend the rights of 18 year old…”

  8. So I can join the military and be exposed to god knows what chemicals, not be able to sue, or get decent coverage from the VA, but I cannot smoke a cigarette.

  9. Is Anthony referring t himself in the third person?

    Who does he think he is, Lebron?

    1. I know the two twins from that group.

      1. Or rather the Dude Perfect group he performs with sometimes.

  10. I can tell you with no reservations that the woman from UIC named Robin is clinically insane. Look at they eyes.. RUN!!!!!

  11. . . . but at a certain point adults should be endowed with the rights and responsibilites of adults, like serving in the military, paying taxes and even (gasp) consuming alcohol and nicotine.

    Look, its really simple – rights the *benefit the state* stay at 18 (or even 17 in the case of joining the military), rights that do not benefit the state will be pushed off as far as possible so that they do not interfere with the exercise of state power.

    That’s why no-one has a problem letting you join the military at 17 but alcohol use isn’t allowed until you’re 21.

  12. Study: Raising smoking age to 21 would curb smoking.
    How many times does this stuff have to absolutely fail before certain people quit believing the “studies.”
    It would make a lot more sense to pass out vaping sets to teens.

  13. I don’t think it’s cool when the government legislates to restrict the purchasing habits of adults. A government that decides what an adult can and can’t do, is extremely bad for your health.

    Governments ought to come with a health warning.

    ” Warning, voting for a punitive Government is bad for your health.”

    1. Millions of people have been maimed and killed in motor vehicle accidents. We ought immediately stop people from driving motor vehicles, as it’s way too dangerous. The cost is way too high. We could save millions of lives and prevent untold suffering and carnage. Won’t you selfish driving bastards please just think of the poor little children. Think of the children, for god’s sake.

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