“Smoke 'em if you got 'em” could be how we describe the state’s current view on teens with cigarettes, but now legislation is working its way through the state government, to not just punish those who sell to minors, but to punish the minors themselves
We hear about it when gas stations get busted for selling cigarettes to minors, but believe it or not it isn't illegal for a 15-year-old kid to smoke. That could soon change. The state is discussing making possession of cigarettes by minors illegal.
According to the American Lung Association six thousand kids have their first cigarette every day. State leaders hope that punishing kids who smoke would deter them from lighting up in the future.
If caught once, teens would face fifteen hours of community service or a $25 fine. For every time they get caught after that, the fine doubles.
Some lawmakers say it would take the focus off education and could give teens early criminal records.