Taxes are for Squares

Chicago’s New Smoking Ban


A new Chicago ordinance prohibits the purchase of cigarettes by those under the age of 21./Photo by Rut Ortiz

Pablo Medina, Editor

Fewer teens may smoke with the new tobacco laws introduced by Chicago lawmakers.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s aldermen voted to raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Chicago is following in the steps of Evanston and 100 other cities to improve the lives of citizens and the air quality of the environment.

From a subjective standpoint, I think this is good for the public. Each time I see someone going about, taking a strong drag of a cigarette, I wonder, “Does that person understand the irony in giving a large corporation hard earned money to decrease the quality of their life for a small hint of tarry, smelly pleasure?”

I mean, I fully understand, because some people enjoy taking the time they have on Earth for granted. Whatever people do outside of my life is none of my business, I definitely get it.

However, this doesn’t entitle anyone to do whatever they want. It may be the person’s choice to indulge in the addictive nature of tobacco, but it doesn’t make it a smart choice.

Tobacco is not a necessity, it is a luxury that only harms, with more disadvantages that far outweigh the benefits. Plus, smoking is a habit that is very difficult to break for many, in part to the appeal and feeling of the activity. Maybe someone who is free of consistent patterns of stress and habit can give it up quickly, but for people who smoke on a regular basis, it’s a lot harder to quit.  

I personally know first-hand because I smoked back in high school. I chose not to continue that path simply due to the horrible taste. I’ve also tried hookah to varying extents of pleasure.

I’ve quit for many reasons, mostly having to do with my view of myself. To think anyone would be cool simply through smoking is a laughing matter to me, because I sense the falsehood behind it and in people who reinforce that ideal.

Yet again, anyone can choose to smoke and to some, the law is simply a piece of paper to look at. For all I know, the most hardened of smokers may take that same paper and roll a fresh square with it. In the end, however, you’re either satisfied or, like me, you’ll make a change and quit engaging in the disgusting habit.

There are plenty of other things smokers can be doing to occupy their time and fingers, like taking up a new hobby, making healthy choices with food and exercise, relieving stress through yoga, or karate or listening to music.

If there is one thing I can tell any teenager looking to rid their troubles with a stick full of nicotine, it would be a reminder that they have the willpower to not smoke, give it up if they’ve already started and, more importantly, tell the tobacco companies off by not giving them more business.

And hey, the road to recovery may be a long one, but better to be able to breathe than to stay in the shrouds of smoke.