According to the Public Health Minister Caroline Flint, “Someone who starts smoking aged 15 is three times more likely to die of cancer due to smoking than someone who starts in their late 20s”. This shows how important the topic which I am undertaking is because if the Government tackles this issue correctly, millions of lives could be saved. In this essay I am going to tackle the question ‘should the age limit for smoking be raised to 18?’ I am going to look at various opinions and figures, weigh up both sides of the argument and come to an overall conclusion on the topic. My opinion is mixed, but I do think the smoking age limit should be raised due to various reasons which I will cover during this essay.
According to “ASH” (Action on Smoking and Health), “16 % of boys and 25% of girls at the age of 15 smoke regularly”, this is despite it being illegal for them. I think raising the age limit would prevent more young people from smoking at a young age. The reason for my view is that currently, while the limit is at 16, a large percentage of people under 16 smoke. Supporting this view, The Scotsman says that in 2004 14% of 15-year-old boys and 24% of 15-year-old girls smoke regularly. As the age of 15 is 1 year younger than the age limit is, I think that if the age limit was raised to 18 these figures would gradually change to about a seventh of boys just under the age of 18 regularly smoking and roughly a quarter of 16-17 year old girls smoking regularly. Obviously this transaction would take time due to the “1% of 11 year olds and 20% of 15-year olds who smoke regularly” but I think in roughly 10 years the figures will have changed for the better.
The other reason for my opinion is that various other adult activities such as drinking alcohol and watching certain films have the age restriction of 18 years of age. The University of Vermont determined that “alcoholic smokers are more likely to die from problems caused by smoking...