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Minimum smoking age should be 28

| June 25, 2013

If medical science were the determining factor in deciding at what age people should be allowed to smoke and drink; that age would be set at 28, according to psychologist, Ronald J. Coughlin.

In a letter published at MyCentralJersey.com, Coughlin said the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that told you to follow rules, not speed and basically use common sense, took 28 years to develop.

‘One can learn algebra and other facts before 28; it is just that the ability to think clearly and logically about one’s best interest and plan accordingly is not fully developed until 28, Coughlin wrote.

‘So if one wanted to use science as a basis for determining the onset of privileged behaviors such as smoking and drinking then the brain development age of 28 would be the most logical since this is based on science …’

Coughlin went on to say that the only argument that would probably be made against the scientific 28-year standard would be in respect of the financial losses that liquor and cigarette manufacturers would suffer.

But the change would go a long way to increasing traffic safety, decreasing crime and improving the health of those under 28, he added.

The letter is at: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130623/NJOPINION0201/306230007/Raise-drinking-smoking-ages-Science-suggests-28?nclick_check=1

Category: Breaking News

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