Another bill that advocates bigger government has just passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday. This time, it was Senate Bill 3011, a bill that would raise the legal age of obtaining tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The synopsis of the bill states the following on the Illinois General Assembly website:
Amends the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products, Act. Changes the name of the Act to the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Persons under 21 Years of Age and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act. Raises the age for whom tobacco products and electronic cigarettes may be sold to and possessed by from at least 18 years of age to at least 21 years of age. Defines “electronic cigarette”. Repeals provisions concerning alternative nicotine products. Amends various other Acts to make conforming changes.
A simple majority of 30 votes is what was needed from the 59 members to get the bill to the House. Last week, the bill failed to pass the Senate, but this time around, it barely passed, 32 – 22.
The problem with this bill is very obvious. A bill that would ban 18 – 20-year-olds from purchasing and possessing tobacco products simply will not stop these 18 – 20-year-olds from using them. At what point do we draw the line? At what point do we say this is too much government? People need to take personal responsibility for their lives, and it is up to the individual to decide if they want to smoke or not.
What I find odd is that most liberals generally claim pro-life laws that ban killing unborn babies would be ineffective, and lead to more illegal, or as they call it, “back alley” abortions. However, they all of a sudden praise a ban when it comes to smoking products, claiming it as very effective.
The bottom line is this: There are some things that government just can’t solve, and smoking products are one of them. It is up to the parents to teach their kids about the harmful effects of smoking, not the government. This is not a naive way of thinking, but it is simply the truth. The government can’t and shouldn’t regulate everything.