A few weeks ago the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 7 which would raise the minimum smoking age of 18 years to the age of 21. This bill would be enforced statewide if signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Senate Bill 7 was introduced in July 2015 by State Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina. This bill was a part of a legislative package composed of six bills, all of which are aimed to decrease tobacco use.
Joel Moskowitz, director of the campus Center for Family and Community Health, previously stated that 95 percent of smokers pick up the habit before the age of 21. He stated this in defense of Senate Bill 7.
“If they don’t start as adolescents, as young adults, they’re probably not going to take up smoking,” Moskowitz said.
Many senators were quite skeptical on the senate bill and it’s effectiveness. State Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel recently said that she was opposed of the bill because the people’s liberty shall be protected, regardless of the reported health consequences of tobacco use.
“I’m sure plenty of minors are smoking without concern about the current minimum age of 18,” said Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, regarding the effectiveness of the bill. “I don’t expect human nature to change, whether in or out of a university.”
While some think that this bill should be signed by Governor Jerry Brown in hopes to decrease the use of tobacco, others think the bill could just be a futile effort on the government’s behalf. There is still an ongoing debate within the two thought processes and it is up to if Governor Brown to see if Senate Bill 7 becomes a law.