Dear Crabby, Should the Tobacco Age be Raised to 21?

Dear Crabby, Should the Tobacco Age be Raised to 21?

Sincerely, Virginia Slim


Dear Ms. Slim,

Sure, why not, it won’t bother me none, I’m well past 21. That’s a common answer I’m sure from old people like me. But is it fair? Well, we’ve decided it’s fair to have the drinking age be 21. Because drinking is bad for your health and younger people are more affected by the hazards of drinking alcohol. In addition, drinking while driving can harm more than just the user. And there’s just a few reasons we’ve used to justify taking away something from a legal adult.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

So, is smoking and using tobacco products similar to drinking alcohol? Yes and no. “Yes,” tobacco is hazardous to your health and to those around you – secondhand smoke and all – long term. But it doesn’t impair you to operate a car, so “no” in that list. Drinking and smoking, for a long time and in heavy amounts, can damage your body. Both are FDA regulated and both are questions on almost any medical form (more for the “yes” column).

You can start driving at age 16, join the military at age 17, and vote at age 18. Age of consent varies from state-to-state. And you become a real adult at age 18 … mostly. Drinking age 21, renting a car is between 20-25 years of age, and some “party destinations” require you to be 21 to rent a hotel. You must be at least 25 years old to run for congress and as least 35 years old to run for president. So, we have an inconsistent constancy.

I say raise it all to 21 – smoking, joining the military, voting, age of consent, along with drinking alcohol, and make 21 the new age to become an adult. Or, age 20 – lower the drinking age by one year and raise everything else – now that’s compromise. Either way, it should be more consistent – nation wide – to say when you truly become an adult.

Maybe we start with smoking and move on from there, so long as it includes e-cigarettes, vaping, pot, and everything else in the tobacco/smoking realm.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby.

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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