Days Of Dougie (A Dougietorial)
Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em (But Not For Much Longer)
December 29, 2019
A/N: My mistake. I thought this new law went into effect on January 1, 2020 which would give at least a little advance warning for smokers to get ready for the headaches and problems of buying smokes if they’re under the age of 21, but according to a notice on the door of my favorite c-store, it went into effect almost immediately when the President signed the bill on December 20, 2019. So purchasing tobacco is now illegal for all people under 21. And there’s no grandfather clause for the people who were able to legally buy the smokes a few days ago, but can’t now. I watched a woman get very upset with the cashier and all I can say is get used to it. Oh vey! I don’t like smoking and wish that everyone would quit, but this is just messed up and wrong. Very wrong. ‘Nuff said!
How many people in this country smoke cigarettes? According to estimates, 34.2 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. That’s not including the underage people, the people who vape and the ones who smoke self-rolled items of an unlawful nature. And of those 34 million, roughly 7.8% of those age 18 to 24 smoke. Smoking is the largest single cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and roughly one in five deaths are as a result of taking the occasional puff.
To put it bluntly, smoking is bad for young people. It’s bad for everyone actually. It’s a nasty habit that causes cancer and breathing problems, stinks, makes people look like idiots with that little piece of burning paper hanging out of their mouths, is expensive and did I mention stinks really bad. It leaves people smelling like a cross between a wet dog and burnt popcorn. No, I’m not a fan of smoking and if it was up to me, every single person that throws a cigarette butt on the ground or walks around mumbling with a cigarette hanging from their mouth looking like a moron, I’d love to just bitch-slap all of them for being, as Red Foreman of That 70’s Show, would say, a true dumb-ass.
But a few days ago in Washington D.C., our Congress and Senate decided that for people under the age of 21, there won’t be any more smoking. Slipped into a spending bill and with almost no media fanfare or mention (since they’re too busy talking about the Impeachment circus), a law was passed and as of January 1, 2019, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy and purchase tobacco and cigarettes. This means cigarettes, Vaping products, cigars, Dip, Chewing tobacco or pretty much anything dealing with tobacco.
This is wrong! Now let me tell you why.
To start of with, with the exception of a few very brief mentions a while back about a bill making it’s way around Congress, there has been almost no publicity or public debate of this bill. Yes, everyone hates smoking and it’s dumb, but when 34 million people do it, they should at least have some advance warning and a chance to present arguments against this bill if desired. That never happened. It was added to an unrelated spending bill that had to pass to keep the Government running and snuck through for the President to sign into law. And even now, I have yet to see any kind of debate or discussion on any of the major networks, not CNN, MSNBC, FOX or anywhere else. I’m sure that there have been, but I haven’t seen them and I’ve been looking and searching.
And the main thing that annoys me about this is that the Government is taking away a choice from the American people. If’ you’re 18 years old and considered to legally be an adult, able to get married, buy a house, run for political office, vote, have an abortion, be tried as an adult in court, purchase a gun (although they’re trying to take that right away too), have children, enlist in the military, etc, then you’re old enough to decide if you want to smoke a cigarette. It’s just that simple.
I feel the same away about seat belt laws and if a person is an adult, it should be their choice to wear a seatbelt or not. But that’s an argument for another day. Listen to what the Government is telling young people in America. You can kill unborn children, join the military and die, elect representatives and leaders, be tried as an adult if you do anything wrong, take out loans that you’ll never be able to repay in your lifetime, etc, but we don’t think you’re smart enough to decide if you want to suck down a burning piece of paper that smells bad and might make you sick.
Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for you. Everyone knows that smoking causes cancer and breathing problems. Everyone knows that they just plain out stink and smell bad and leave a person and their surroundings smelling like rotting flesh. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking. But if you’re an adult and want to smoke, it’s your call and decision, not the Governments. Next thing you know, they’ll be banning plastic bags, single serve water bottles and plastic straws. Oh wait, California already has. My bad!
The bottom line is this. If you can die for your country and are recognized as an adult in every other legal way, then no one except for you yourself has the right to tell you that you’re not allowed to buy cigarettes. An adult can weigh the options, think about the possible consequences and make the decision on his own. It’s his or her right and not the right of anyone to decide for them.
Come Wednesday, January 1, 2020, a lot of people are going to be mad and upset as they’re forced to quit cold turkey something that has become a part of their lives. Well, either that or become criminals by having someone else purchase the vigs for them, something a legal adult shouldn’t have to worry about. I hate smoking and it’s a stupid thing in my opinion, but if you’re age 18 or older and want to do it, no one should be able to stop you.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. So if you are under 21 and smoke, better stock up now because it’s about to get crazy. Smoke ’em if you got ’em and for the people in Washington who just took away your rights to make your own decision, be it good or bad, they can all just go to… well, you know.
Thanks for reading. Questions, comments and thoughts are welcome. Until the next time, take care and I’ll catch you on the flip side.