As you may know, the Tobacco21 law was passed at the end of 2019, changing the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The main reason this law was passed federally is because vaping was officially declared an epidemic. Now, you may be wondering why a high school student is writing an article about vaping, and to be completely truthful, it’s because vaping is a huge problem in high schools today. So, we are here to find out if the Tobacco21 law has made a difference in your local school.
To find out if these new laws have indeed halted this vaping epidemic, I asked my principal, Ms. Tina Wnuk, if she has noticed a decline in tobacco products on school grounds. She responds with, “I have seen a decline overall since the beginning of the school year.”
She also added that she believes it is due to information coming out about vaping products and their terrible side effects.
I also asked one of our bathroom monitors, Mr. John Tucker, what he has noticed since the Tobacco21 law was passed.
Mr. Tucker responds with, “In terms of how it will affect our school, honestly, I'm not sure if it will really make that much [of a] difference.”
He also explains why he feels this way by saying, “Many of the individuals who have been vaping at school were underage before the law changed. It will make it harder for some to get access to it but in the end I don't see it having that much of an [effect].”
So, to sum things up, I would have to agree with Mr. Tucker. I honestly believe that this new Tobacco21 law will not drastically change anything. Teens will always be able to find someone of proper age to buy tobacco products for them, especially in such a small town. However, even though it’s still a problem, this is just the first step towards the end of tobacco product usage in schools.