Please Minnesota, Don’t Change the Tobacco Age to 21
This has suddenly been the big topic of debate in the last couple years, and I think it's a huge waste of time and money. Minnesota wants to change the tobacco minimum age to 21 years old.
When Edina, Minnesota raised the minimum age to 21 to purchase tobacco last May, I wondered what this world was coming to. Since then, a number of cities in Minnesota have also jumped on this bandwagon and it doesn't look like it's going to stop there.
Now, according to our sister station WJON, Minnesota lawmakers are now going to push for a statewide regulation to raise the minimum tobacco buying age to 21 years old. This would mean that all businesses that sell any form of tobacco in the state of Minnesota would have to say "no" to a legal adult under 21, who has the right to vote and server our country, that wants to buy a tobacco product.
This law would also stop the sale of e-cigarettes as well -- pretty much anything that contains nicotine. Minnesota would become the 6th state in the U.S. to pass this type of statewide ban.
This whole push to raise the age limit of tobacco sales is from anti-smoking advocate groups who are using the topic of "healthcare costs" to back their reasoning for this need. Even though the number of smokers between the age of 18 and 21 has dropped over the last few years, they still feel it's not enough and our lawmakers need to drop everything else that's an issue in Minnesota, to be a big brother to young adults.
Here's the kicker...18 to 20 year old adults can STILL legally smoke, they just can't buy them in Minnesota. Basically they can still get their tobacco from another state, or somebody over 21 and it's not illegal for them to light up here.
I'm not a smoker, but I was a smoker when I was a teen. I never had a problem getting a pack of cigarettes when I was underage, and if I wanted to smoke then I would! My son is 15 and I don't see him ever being a tobacco user, and wouldn't want him to start that habit. Once he's 18 then that's his right, and I can't stop him. It's time for schools and parents to push the topic and education on the effects of tobacco use, and keep the government out of it in my opinion. The age of 18 being considered an adult is for a reason, so let it be and concentrate on the dozen other crucial problems we have right now in Minnesota.