When the question revolves around the permissible age for cigarette smoking, then the answer to this query is not at all an easy one to determine. Cigarette smoking is injurious to health and this statement accompanies each and every cigarette pack, which in turn implies that indulging in this act is not considered wise by any standards, yet billions of individuals throughout the world are addicted to tobacco cigarettes. This rising menace has raised the healthcare costs in most countries across the globe, which in turn has given rise to the need for a suitable anti-smoking campaign to be put in place to curb this serious issue. 

tobacco cigarette smoking age limit

The area that can be considered to be boasting of the strictest tobacco purchase limit in the United States happens to be New York City. The council in New York City has decided to raise the tobacco smoking age from 18 years to 21 years, thereby putting a strong message across to young smoking individuals across the globe. It was in the year 2005 that the trend for smoking cigarettes started to decline and this trend further dipped till the year 2007, after which, it remained stagnant till the year 2012. New York City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn is of the opinion that over 80% of smokers in the area are below the age of twenty one years. The speaker also went on to state that there is substantial data to back this claim.

Apparently, by simply increasing the permissible smoking age, you can stop more and more youngsters from smoking cigarettes, thereby somewhat reducing the total number of smokers in the world. Nonetheless, there is no scientific proof of the same and further research studies need to be carried out in a bid to substantiate the claim whether increasing the permissible smoking age would actually reduce the total number of smokers in the world. It was in the year 2008, when in the United Kingdom, the permissible smoking age was raised from sixteen years to eighteen years.

In the year 2011, it was revealed via the Thorax journal that in a survey involving seven thousand seven hundred and ninety eight subjects, who fell between the eleven and fifteen years, the increase in permissible smoking age actually helped individuals reduce their smoking cravings considerably. After the British 2007 smoking law, it was revealed via the Addiction issue of November 2010 that raising the age in terms of legally permitting tobacco cigarette purchase definitely reduced the total number of individuals from taking up cigarette smoking.

On the contrary, a study that was published in the Tobacco Control edition in the year 2007 revealed that the 2,623 subjects that were studied over a two year period showed no positive signs of reducing their smoking urges despite the stringent law enforcements with regards to increasing the tobacco cigarette purchase age from 16 years to 18 years. The University of Edinburgh professor on health promotion, Amanda Amos, was also of the opinion that age laws with regards to smoking tobacco cigarettes may not be as effective with special regards to helping people steer clear of tobacco cigarettes.

Dr Amos was of the opinion that while such age laws may reduce the sales of cigarettes, they may not be effective in containing the smoking epidemic. In fact, young smokers may find ways and means of fulfilling their smoking urges by using other purchase mechanisms. In Massachusetts, there is a small town by the name of Needham, wherein in the year 2005, the legal smoking age was raised to 21 years. After this, it was noticed that by the year 2006, the teenage smoking rate fell from 12.9% in the year 2005 to 5.5% in the year 2006. Hence, age laws do affects the smoking trends amongst teenagers. Nonetheless, these laws do not raise existing penalties on retailers selling cigarettes to underage smokers, nor does it press charges against under-age smokers smoking tobacco cigarettes.