Teens and smoking: Whose business is it anyway? October 16, 2003, Town Hall Meeting

In the past 15 years, California has passed some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation. A large focus of the state's anti-smoking campaign has been in preventing teen smoking. The latest attempt to discourage smoking among young people is AB 221 (Koretz), a bill that would increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

Should it be the government's responsibility to try to prevent teens from taking up smoking? What are the costs associated with teen smoking? Is the cigarette industry doing enough to prevent teens from taking up smoking? If someone is old enough to go to war should they also be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to smoke? Should smoking be a personal decision and not one that is determined by government imposed age restrictions?