LETTER: Yes, let’s raise the tobacco sales age

To the Editor:

Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 in Falcon Heights would be an effective way to reduce youth tobacco use in our city. I was pleased to read in the article “Falcon Heights eyes upping the age to purchase tobacco products in city” the week of Feb. 11, that the city council is considering this ordinance and I applaud their leadership.

As a public health graduate student at the University of Minnesota, this is an issue that’s very important to me. Approximately 95 percent of current adult smokers started before they were 21. If youth don’t start by the time they are 21, they likely never will. Just last week, the Minnesota Department of Health released survey results showing that youth tobacco use has increased for the first time in 17 years, and youth e-cigarette use is at an all-time high. Raising the tobacco sales age to 21 is an effective way to address this growing problem in our communities.

I am encouraged by the growing number of communities nationwide, including five cities right here in Minnesota, that have raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Our state is often recognized as a leader in health, and city leaders have a unique opportunity to take action. I’d like to see Falcon Heights and other communities join the existing list of Minnesota cities that have passed this policy. It is an essential step to prevent young people in our community from becoming addicted to tobacco products.

Esha Seth, Falcon Heights

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.8 (21 votes)
Comment Here