US must strive to reduce teen smoking

In an effort to reduce smoking in adolescents, the New York City Council proposed a bill that will make the open display of tobacco products illegal in stores. The bill would force stores to keep tobacco products hidden beneath the counter until the moment of purchase. A study explains that adolescents are less likely to use tobacco-based products if the products are not visibly present in stores.

The United States does not do enough to highlight the adverse effects smoking can have on the human body. Many pro-smoking advertisements make the unhealthy past-time look normal—if the ad is more neutral, it at least does not show the damage that can be done from partaking in long-term smoking.

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, tried instating the same bill in 2013 without success. Bloomberg and the current city council both had the best interest of the public in mind, but more needs to be done to target smoking culture. Ads with honest displays of what can happen should be prominently placed throughout the city and better warnings should be put on tobacco products.

The display ban is a welcome effort to keep New York City youth healthier, but if local and national government wish to keep the best interests of their people in mind, much more needs to be done.