Recommendations from “Raise the smoking age” (Perspective, July 13) that the legal age for buying tobacco products be raised to 21 do not go far enough.
Adolescent brains are particularly vulnerable to addiction due to incompletely developed frontal lobes; frontal lobe brain development is not complete until around the age of 25.
The president of the Australian Medical Association has recommended that the legal drinking age be raised to 25.
In my opinion, many health and behavioral problems would be reduced if the legal age for both tobacco and alcohol use were raised to 25. This should include electronic cigarettes.
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It’s unlikely that such a change will ever happen in the U.S., however, in large measure because of the powerful alcohol and tobacco lobbies and our culture’s values regarding substance use.