I'm disappointed to hear this, but not surprised. I used to think highly of Fr. Hewko's work with teenage boys. Fr. Hewko is entitled to his opinion of U.S. laws being puritanical. I dare say he is correct regarding the current criminalization of the use of alcohol and tobacco by young ADULTS---say, 16 for tobacco, 18 for alcohol---just my opinion... But 13 year olds? No way! These things are generally not good for the health of adolescents.
America was founded by Deists and Puritans, so there's no surprise the laws reflect this in some way, mostly to assuage guilt over evil laws permitting sodomite "marriage" and other mortal sins.
A Catholic is obliged to obey all civil laws that do not conflict with faith or morals, and to oppose and sometimes publicly disobey those that do. Maybe Fr. needs to review his catechism on the 4th commandment? Also, that of giving bad example.
Even if Fr. is objectively correct, he is morally incorrect. Abstaining from the use and purchase of alcohol and tobacco until age 21 is NOT against faith or morals. In fact, many Catholics including great Saints abstained from these things as a matter of penance. Not all. St. Paul X enjoyed a good smoke. Whether he realizes it or not, Fr. Hewko is giving the boys in his charge the message that it is allowed for Catholics to disobey lawful authority. He should not be surprised when these boys go on to disobey not only civil authority but Church Authority as well. "If you think a law, civil or Church, is stupid, it's okay to break it." Better by far to set the example of Our Lord, Who, although God in the Flesh, humbled Himself by submitting to the unjust laws of men, even to the ignominy of the Cross. If Fr. wants to have beer and a smoke, let him do it as an adult, exercising the privilege of a law-abiding adult.
He need not be dismayed in later years when one or more of these boys calls upon him for bail! Not to mention Fr. himself could be arrested and charged with felony child endangerment!
In my job as a child care worker, there is a stupid rule regarding "weapons." The children know it is stupid as soon as they're told it. Obeying it does not conflict with faith or morals, so I obey it and require children in my charge to obey it. They know my personal opinion because I tell them, but in this case, submission to lawful authority trumps personal liberty.