Medical Benefits of Raising the Smoking Age to 21

April 5, 2016

Dr. Joseph Boyer, MD was interviewed by News 12 Westchester on the medical benefits of raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 years of age. This segment was originally broadcast on April 2, 2018 on NWWC, News 12 Westchester.



Newsreporter #1: Hey folks, that is where we begin tonight. Good evening everyone, I'm Scott McGee.

Newsreporter #2: And I'm Rachel Spotts. Thanks for joining us here on Nightside. Westchester law makers considering raising the age a person can legally buy cigarettes in the county.

Newsreporter #1: It's been something under consideration in a lot of places. Nightside's  Nadia Galindo tells us whether local doctors believe this will actually deter teens from smoking. 

Newsreporter #3: According to the CDC, nearly 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by the age of eighteen.

Katherine Borgia: We know that tobacco companies kill their customers, so they have to recruit new customers for their business model. 

Newsreporter #3: Katherine Borgia is one of eight Westchester legislatures sponsoring a proposed local law to raise the age from eighteen to twenty-one, to buy tobacco products in the county. 

Katherine Borgia: It's been really proven that the later a person starts smoking, the less likely they are to be a life-long addict. 

Newsreporter #3: More than a dozen counties in the state. including Rockland County, have raised the age in an effort to deter teens from picking up a tobacco addiction.

Katherine Borgia: We know that this is something that is really accelerating in New York state and we think it's probably going to be a state-wide rule at some point. 

Dr. Joseph Boyer: If you talk to a lot of smokers today, most of them started smoking in their teens.

Newsreporter #3: Doctor Joseph Boyer is a pediatric pulmonologist at Boston Children's Health in Hawthorne. 

Dr. Joseph Boyer: Believe it or not we do have a fair share of teenagers who are asthmatic, and are smoking. And we find that it's much more difficult to control their asthma because they're smoking. 

Newsreporter #3: Each year about 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses. The good news is the number of teens picking up a tobacco addiction has dropped over the past couple of years.

Dr. Joseph Boyer: The adolescent brain is still maturing, it's still got a lot of development to do, and it's much more susceptible to addiction and life-long addiction. 

Newsreporter #3: The committee on legislation will take up the bill for consideration on Tuesday. In the newsroom, Nadia Galindo, News12.