LETTER: Thank you, Falcon Heights, for raising the tobacco-buying age

To the Editor:

Thank you to the Falcon Heights City Council for passing Tobacco 21! I live in Falcon Heights and am a sophomore in high school. 

Tobacco is something I see every single day at my school. I smell it all over the property, especially in the stairwells, where there are no preventive measures in place (no cameras, smoke alarms, etc.). 

The reason for this is that older students like seniors can legally be sold products like cigarettes and vapes. They then bring them into school and sell or give them to younger students. I strongly believe that tobacco should not be sold to any person under the age of 21, because it will make it much harder for 18-year-old students to get it and share it with younger kids at school.

I have seen the negative impacts of smoking in my own family. A relative of mine began smoking when she was 13 years old, because of the older kids that she spent time with. She has quit now, but she struggled with the addiction to nicotine for over 15 years, doing damage to her body that whole time. Tobacco 21 could have prevented her from getting addicted in the first place.

I feel very grateful to the council for voting yes on Tobacco 21 and also restricting flavored tobacco. If we can prevent tobacco products from reaching young hands, we can have a real impact on the long-term health of our community.

Cecilia Kintopf, Falcon Heights

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