LETTER: Arden Hills Council: Please raise the tobacco-buying age

To the Editor:

 

My name is Cheryl Ludwig. My husband Bill and I have lived in Arden Hills for 32 years. Bill’s a Navy veteran. We have two grown children and three grandchildren.

We are writing to urge Arden Hills City Council members to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Studies show raising the tobacco sales age to 21 will reduce tobacco use by 15- and 17-year-olds, who often get cigarettes and e-cigarettes from older friends. There are many 18-year-olds in high school but no 21-year-olds. Raising the age to 21 will make a big difference in keeping these harmful products away from high-schoolers.

We need to do something to stop a whole new generation of young people getting hooked on nicotine and suffering the health consequences. We all now know the dangers of getting hooked on smoking. We don’t fully know the dangers of e-cigarettes because no long-term studies have been done. How can we be okay with 20 percent of Minnesota high-schoolers using e-cigarettes?

We know personally the harm tobacco addiction causes. Bill has severe emphysema, but he still smokes. That is how strong the nicotine addiction is. We’re speaking out to prevent more of today’s young people from someday suffering the health consequences he’s endured: missing family gatherings, not being able to travel and being unable to do many everyday things people take for granted.

We urge the Arden Hills City Council to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Please put the health of our young people first.

 

Cheryl Ludwig

Arden Hills

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