SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – People across the country are reacting to a new bill that President Donald Trump signed just days ago. The new law raised the age for buying tobacco products from 18 up to 21-years old.
Cancer survivor Tamarca Head, said he cannot help but think of his own battle with cancer, every time he sees someone smoking.
“It’s dangerous on both ends. So by me not knowing how I got cancer, that’s another thing that kind of scares me,” Head said.
The Georgia native said he believes the age change is a good thing because he thinks the age 18: “…is too early to let them make decisions that are going to affect their bodies for the rest of their lives.”
Local cigar aficionado Jerry Cornwell told us a different point of view. Cornwell said the age change will have a direct impact on the young veterans that come into Exotic Cigars, the local store where Cornwell works as a cigar expert.
“Some of the kids are not quite 21 yet so that might affect them a little bit too, which I personally feel is unfair because they’re putting their butts on the line every day for us and now their country’s telling them, ‘Thanks a lot but you can’t smoke, and you can’t drink a beer either.’ I mean that’s just silly,” Cornwell remarked.
Cornwell reminisced about the four years he served in the U.S. Navy, and said he often saw people using tobacco products to cope.
“It was a stress reliever for them,” Cornwell stated.
However, U.S. Air Force veteran Richard Ford said he believed the age limitations were a good thing due to what he has seen his son experience.
“He got nicotine poisoning twice um, and um yeah. So it’s, it’s something we are concerned with due to the fact that young kids used to, well not used to, they tend to go overboard with a lot of their newfound hobbies,” Ford said.
The FDA announced on its website, “It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes, to anyone under 21.”