The memory of Prohibition would undoubtedly be on lawmakers' minds. The government once tried to take from people something they had been accustomed to, something that had been legal: alcohol. The outcome was anything but pretty.
If there really were the political will to end cigarette use, there are ways. Each state sets its own laws for the minimum age to purchase cigarettes -- in most states, it's 18. If states decided to raise the age to, say, 80, that would do it. But the chances are zero.
Like it or not, the country has painted itself into a corner. Cigarettes kill. They will continue to. If they were a new product, they'd never make it to market. Don't bet against them still being here a century from now.
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