Citizens for Adult Choice is dedicated to protecting the right of adults to make grown-up decisions for themselves. In Massachusetts, that right is at risk from local authorities who want to dictate their personal preferences through laws that would restrict the freedom to purchase legal tobacco products. Citizens for Adult Choice believes adults age 21+ can make decisions for themselves, and that any effort to curtail an adult’s right, however well-intentioned, amounts to an infringement on the individual liberties Americans have fought so hard to protect.

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What Is The So-Called “Nicotine Free Generation?”

The so-called “Nicotine Free Generation” or “Tobacco Free Generation” concept is the next step in an authoritarian movement that seeks to dictate many life choices of adults. This attempt regulate morality is designed to prevent adults of any age from buying and using these products. It does this by establishing an arbitrary “born on date” whereby anyone born after is prohibited from using any nicotine product at any age or for any reason whether a person is 21, 30, or 50+. If NFG zealots are successful, there is nothing stopping them from justifying a public health ban on alcohol, marijuana, sugary beverages, fast food, placing a wager or any other product or behavior that doesn’t meet their standards for healthy and righteous living.

NFG Rules Are Wrong

Adults 21+ have the right to make personal decisions about their use of legal products, including nicotine products. It is simply wrong for people in positions of power to impose their standards and choices on other adults. If you want to celebrate the birth of a son or daughter with a cigar, that should be your decision to make. If you enjoy the occasional cigarette in the privacy of your own home, it should be no one’s business but yours. And it is unfair that older adults will be treated differently based on whether they were born after a certain arbitrary date.

NFG Rules Are Dangerous

NFG policies do more harm than good by fueling a dangerous, unregulated black market where kids can more easily get their hands on nicotine products from bad actors selling prohibited and tainted goods. NFG policies also will eliminate access to proven harm reduction strategies for smokers trying to quit, while further marginalizing and stigmatizing nicotine users and contributing to mental health challenges.

NFG Rules Are Hypocritical

In recognition of the failure of prohibition, Massachusetts recently legalized recreational marijuana products, including edibles, for adult use. The state also allows the regulated sale and possession of alcohol as well as casino gambling and sports betting by adults. It makes no sense to prohibit the sale of tobacco for adult use while allowing and even endorsing these other behaviors that are known to have detrimental impacts.

NFG Rules Are Unnecessary

We already have existing laws prohibiting the sale of nicotine products to young people. Thanks to education initiatives and resources to help smokers quit, adult and youth smoking rates are at an all-time low and continue to fall as more people make their own decisions against nicotine use. Instead of continuing to let adults choose, NFG policies are a heavy-handed approach and a slippery slope to the prohibition of other adult choices that may fall out of favor.

NFG Rules Are Bad For Communities

Local retailers like convenience stores and gas stations rely on nicotine product sales for a large percentage of their profits. Municipalities that adopt NFG policies will simply drive shoppers to neighboring towns where adults continue to enjoy freedom, hurting local businesses and costing jobs. Enforcing NFG policies also come at a heavy financial cost, stretch local police forces, and can result in inequitable enforcement and threats to civil liberties. Local NFG policies could lead to statewide regulations that could affect your community, if they haven’t already.

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Though out-of-town medical experts and public health advocates clearly favor the ban, a larger number of Reading’s citizens last week opposed the adoption of a local lifetime tobacco purchase ban.
Bans of any kind do not work, but applying them to adult-aged prohibition is an attack on the principle that adults in our country have the freedom to choose to use legal products.

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i'M ADULT ENOUGH TO CHOOSE