Madeline Brennan

A sign hanging outside Vapor Dynamix alerts patrons of the new law.

Madeline Brennan, News Editor

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law raising the federal minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes to 21 on December 19th, 2019. The purpose of the law is to curb teenage nicotine usage. In the past, President Trump made it clear he intends to combat vaping devices, especially among teenagers.


“We have a problem in our country. It’s a new problem. It’s a problem nobody really thought about too much a few years ago, and it’s called ‘vaping’ — especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children. […] And we’re going to have to do something about it,” said Trump on September 11th, 2019.

Do you think the new law will lower the number of PHS students who vape?

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Nationwide, approximately 5.4 million middle and high school students have reported using vape products. Poteau High School is not exempt from the so-called vaping epidemic. Students of all grades and backgrounds at our school regularly vape. Until the age to buy tobacco/e-cigs was raised, students often obtained vape products by asking other students who are 18 years old. They can no longer do this. 


Not all students feel totally deferred by the new law. “It’s gonna make it harder to get [vape products], but we’ll still get them,” says one anonymous 16 year old PHS student. 


Within the next few months, the effects of the law will hopefully begin to appear.