Many years ago minors could stroll into almost any store and buy a pack of cigarettes. That is not true today because it has been illegal to sell cigarettes or any other tobacco product to minors for years now. In just one state last year there were over two million dollars in fines that were paid related to selling cigarettes to minors. Even though many businesses have a conscious about this practice and never allow it knowingly, perhaps out of fear of being fined, but other businesses are not so caring and would sell an adult cigarettes knowing they are going straight outside to hand them over to a minor. This same trick is practiced with alcohol.
Even though selling tobacco to minors is illegal over the whole country, plenty of minors are still able to get tobacco somehow. It seems as if these people that sell cigarettes to minors should be locked up and not just fined. Perhaps this is the problem. The penalty for selling a child a deadly product is just not steep enough. Perhaps a fine alone is not all that is needed here, but some time in the slammer as well when someone is caught selling cigarettes out right to a minor. Smoking is a hazardous addiction that some people can never seem to quit, so what should be the penalty for helping a child begin this deadly habit?
Maybe there should be a law put into place that if they do sell to a minor the penalty should be harsh. Cigarettes kill everyday and the retailers that sell them to minors may as well be giving them a loaded gun in exchange for the profit they make. They might as well be selling them a gram of cocaine or some other drug. The addictions are the same. Their is enough information about cigarettes out there now, so everyone that is old enough to work, knows the diseases caused as a result of smoking cigarettes. Any adult should be held accountable for selling to, buying for, or giving tobacco to a minor. This just might get them to make 100% sure that the one they are selling to is of age.
A retailer should not look at the profits they missed by selling to a minor, but instead the thought that they might have just saved a minors life by not selling to them. This is a great reward to save the life of someone you do not even know. Retailers are not going to discourage the product they sell, but should not be a part of it either when it comes to a minor. Things have changed over the last many years and some teenagers look like they are 20 years of age, but that is no excuse. Identification should always be asked for if there is any doubt about age.