FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 29, 2013

Contact: Audrey Silk, Founder, NYC C.L.A.S.H.
Phone: (917) 888-9317

NYC Council Members Accept 18 to 20 Year-Olds' Votes Then Kicks Them in the Butt
In response to reports that the NYC Council will hold a full vote this Wednesday, the 30th, on Intro 250-A - Raising the legal tobacco products sales age to twenty-one years (1), NYC C.L.A.S.H.yesterday launched "College Aged for Adulthood" -- a Facebook page erected to bring this insult to the attention of those within the affected age demographic. (2)
With such little time to spare and dependent primarily on Facebook ads to attract notice, the page is already off and running.
It's often been argued that if someone can fight for their country, get married, sign contracts or vote at the age of 18 then they are old enough to be allowed to do all of the things that comes with the traditional age-defined adulthood of 18 -- including choosing whether or not to smoke.  (It had at one time equally applied to drinking until the federal government blackmailed the states by threatening to withhold highway funding if they did not raise the drinking age to 21.  Thus anyone resorting to that comparison as justification for willfully raising the cigarette sales age also to 21 is being disingenuous.)
But it's the latter -- the ability to vote -- that stands out as the most egregious form of hypocrisy on the part of those who are elected to office on those votes and then craft/endorse these laws and on which this campaign is built.
The lawmakers set to vote on Wednesday would not think twice about the wisdom of an 18 to 20 year-old who would vote for them.  In fact, they would praise and thank that young adult voter for understanding the issues and casting a vote for the best candidate for the job.  But with the absence of any consistency in their respect for these supporters these same lawmakers will now tell them they're too stupid to know what they're doing.
The following is the complete text of C.L.A.S.H.'s entreaty to this group of young adults within the New York City area:
College Aged for Adulthood
Imagine a law intended to define 18 to 20 years olds as stupid. Then to rescind their adult status.
Well that’s what the NYC Council has on tap for this Wednesday, October 30, 2013.
Try to wrap your mind around that…

…because if you are 18 to 20 years old they will cherish your vote.  They will praise your involvement in the election process, just as Council Speaker Christine Quinn did when she paused thoughtfully and emotionally in her concession speech to make a special note of thanking “the hundreds of young people [for helping with the campaign].” “You are our future,” she said. That’s a vote of confidence for the young people who helped her.

Speaker Quinn, Mayor Bloomberg, and the rest of the council obviously think you’re mature and intelligent enough to weigh the issues against the candidates and make an informed decision on who you want to lead not just you but the entire city.

That’s a big responsibility.  It shapes the future for everyone. And not a decision made with much serious time given to think about it.  A few campaign months maybe?

But how do Speaker Quinn and the rest reward you for your campaign assistance and vote they’ll gladly accept?

  • By turning around and telling you that you can’t possibly be smart enough to decide whether or not to consume a legal product:  cigarettes.
  • That you are too immature to weigh that choice and make that informed decision.
  • That you can’t be trusted to determine your own future.
  • That they have to think for you because they have no confidence in you.
  • And then by ripping your long-awaited adulthood out from under you and changing the cigarette sales age from 18 to 21.
In fact, considering the relentless anti-tobacco lectures received throughout your generation’s school years and public service announcements, it's easy to say you're more informed about smoking than you could ever be about someone who's asking you to choose them to lead.

So what you know most about they don’t trust but what you know least about – THEM – they welcome with trusting and loving arms.  But who needs integrity when they’ve already got your vote, right?

This is the message these politicians have for you 18 to 20 years olds who help them into office:

"Thanks for your vote but don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out."

Call Speaker Quinn at 212-788-7210 and ask:

“If you feel I’m incapable of making this informed decision how can you accept my vote for office based on this sense of morality for mature thinking?  Will you pledge to decline this age group’s votes in the future?  Or will you show me you’re capable of ethically consistent thought and vote no on this bill?"

Sponsored by NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)
This is not an encouragement to smoke.
This is an encouragement for free choice and against government paternalism.
NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.) is a grassroots organization established in 2000
dedicated to advancing and protecting the interests of adults who choose to smoke cigarettes
or enjoy other forms of tobacco.