Magazine January 27, 2020, Issue

Raising the Tobacco Age Is an Assault on Freedom

(Atitan Titwong/EyeEm/Getty Images)
If they can vote, let them smoke

Providing a rare example of the sort of “collegiality” and “bipartisanship” of which the United States is supposedly suffering a chronic deficiency, the various players in Washington, D.C., came together before Christmas to further limit the freedoms of the citizenry. Tucked neatly into the last-minute, must-pass, can’t-wait, don’t-read-it “omnibus” bill was a provision that raised the age at which Americans may legally buy tobacco, from 18 to 21. Thus did the federal government confirm that a few more trillion dollars of debt will do no harm to our children, whereas the prospect of a 19-year-old smoking a Marlboro represents sufficient

This article appears as “If They Can Vote, Let Them Smoke” in the January 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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