Why Legislators Want to Raise the Legal Age to Buy Tobacco

Woman holding a cigarette

Most people are aware of the harmful effects of smoking on health. Still, many cannot stop using tobacco products. The alarming reality about it is that the age of smokers keeps getting lower.

That is why some legislators are now proposing to raise the legal age of people allowed to buy any tobacco products from 18 to 21. The idea came around when there has been a rapid increase in e-cigarette smoking and vaping among teenagers.

These gadgets are battery operated and use liquid cartridges to produce vapor that its users inhale. These users have an option to choose the level of nicotine that they want to intake. But as teens gain access to these gadgets, they become addicted to nicotine sooner or later. And as their addiction to nicotine grows, the more that they will be prone to its risks.  

How lung cancer risk can affect Medicaid coverage

Medicaid is the government’s help program that offers healthcare coverage for Americans with low income. However, its coverage for screening people with high risk for lung cancer varies between each state.

According to the United Press International, there are 31 Medicaid fee-for-service programs for cover screening. Yet, 12 plans do not provide coverage. Even more, seven states do not have any data handy for their coverage policy.  

Experts believe that coverage for screening is crucial for people with a high risk of cancer. Having better screening coverage will ensure that those people who are eligible for Medicaid coverage will have easy access to the screening. Thus, increasing their chances to survive.  

Having access to screening ensures that if lung cancer is present, they will be able to detect it as early as possible. Lung cancer screening is often covered for free by most ‚Äčhealth insurance FMO plans including Medicare. 

The effects of tobacco use 

Man smoking cigarette

Cigarette smoking is among the leading causes of death in the country that is preventable with early diagnosis and treatment. It causes at least 480 deaths per year, even higher than fatalities caused by HIV, illegal drug and alcohol use, and accidents combined.

Smoking is also the reason behind 90% of deaths caused by lung cancer. Even more, it’s also the leading cause of deaths related to chronic pulmonary diseases. Both men and women are at risk of dying from smoking, which has increased for the past 50 years.  

Even those who smoke less than five cigarettes a day are prone to cardiovascular disease. The chemicals inside tobacco tend to damage the blood vessels. Worse, it thickens them and makes them narrow to the point that blood finds it difficult to pass through. This makes the person’s heart beat quicker and raise their blood pressure above normal.   

If you are suffering from any of these diseases, see your doctor about it. See if your insurance covers the screening to ensure that you can prevent health problems as early as possible. Lung cancer is fatal, so it is best to have it treated as soon as you can.