A bipartisan bit of "nanny-statism" headed for the state legislature, as the Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby reports:
Anyone under the age of 21 no longer would be able to smoke cigarettes under a bill to be introduced into the Colorado Legislature in the coming weeks.
The bill, which is to be introduced by Republicans and Democrats, would raise the legal age to use any tobacco product from 18 to 21, putting it in line with other legal vices, such as alcohol and marijuana…
“It offers consistency in the law,” [sponsor Sen. Steve King] said. “Gambling’s 21, alcohol is 21, marijuana is 21. It seems to me that those potentially addictive behaviors … we should have good consistent policies about regulating that behavior.”
The yet-to-be-introduced bill reportedly has bipartisan sponsorship, Reps. Cheri Gerou (R) and Beth McCann (D) in the House, and Sens. Steve King (R) and John Kefalas (D) in the Colorado Senate. A few other states including Utah are considering a similar increase in the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years of age.
A consistent age to buy all forms of vice consumable products does make a kind of sense, and with the harmful effects of smoking clearly understood today, it's difficult to argue that the "right" to buy cigarettes at age 18 is worth defending.
The only thing we would add is that as the "Amsterdam of North America," it might indeed be a good idea for Colorado to demonstrate some public health prudence in some form.