Nicotine has been shown to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, yet young Canadians are given the opportunity to form an addiction as early as 18-years-old. (In Canada, the legal age for purchasing cigarettes is 18 or 19, depending on the province.)
Unfortunately, this means that a lasting addiction could be formed early- even if teens only smoke "socially."
Studies have shown that the first symptoms of nicotine dependence can form within days to weeks of starting an occasional smoking habit.
In New York City, law makers are attempting to put a stop to teen smoking. A bill has been approved that raises the smoking age from to 18 to 21.
While some argue that this will just drive people to buy cigarettes from illegal sellers, others believe it could deter teens from taking up the deadly habit.
What do you think? Should Canada follow New York City’s example and raise the cigarette-buying age?
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor