"Finish it!" with immediate steeply higher tobacco taxes plus T21. Teenagers and twentysomethings on an allowance or in entry level jobs are easily priced out of the tobacco market and by the time their incomes increase later they are past the age when 90% of nicotine addicts start smoking. This will create a tobacco-free generation.
T21 is only a start. There is only one remedy: dismantle industrialized nicotine addiction. Demolish tobacco companies and obliterate tobacco products by immediate and steep increases in tobacco taxes plus raising the smoking age to 21, or even making it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born after 2000, no matter how old they are. Teenagers in entry level jobs are easily priced out of the tobacco market and by the time their salaries increase later in their careers they are past the age when 90% of nicotine addicts start smoking. The goal is to create a tobacco-free generation.
Practically every smoker grew up reading, watching and listening to print, radio, TV and other public service announcements warning us not to smoke, but they did it anyway. Now the priority is to protect the health of clean air breathers who heeded the warnings but are now victims of smokers and vapers who assault them on a daily basis with secondhand smoke and e-cigarette environmental emissions, then hike the cost of our healthcare by needing treatment for the totally preventable diseases caused by their nicotine addiction. States and cities must make it illegal to possess and use tobacco smoking materials and e-cigarettes, due to the toxic emissions and fire dangers from both, in ALL multi-unit housing, not just public housing under the jurisdictions of HUD, colleges, universities and schools, plus ban smoking and vaping everywhere in public at all times, including bus stops, transit centers, train stations and airports. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, MD must immediately implement and strictly enforce the ban on smoking in public housing. No smoking means NO SMOKING and incorrigible nicotine addicts must be treated harshly when they flaunt no smoking rules and endanger innocent bystanders.
I hope it, and the whole state, does more than just "consider" raising the age for tobacco purchases to 21. Enforcing minimum age of 21 for purchase of tobacco would make it harder to get, and lessening chances of becoming a dependent smoker. That alone would cut smoking prevalence over the next decade by far more than just about any other public health policy, eventually saving the lives of several hundred thousand Americans per year. Returning alcohol purchase age back to 21 in late 1970s reversed the increase in drunk driving and other consequences from when it had been lowered to 18 in early 1970s. Same health benefits would occur with 21 as age for purchase of any nicotine products (including e-cigs).