LETTER: Recent Sibley grad all for raising tobacco buying age

To the Editor:

As a recent graduate of Henry Sibley High School and current college freshman, I’m glad to hear that Mendota Heights is considering raising the tobacco sales age to 21. 

We all grew up knowing that smoking was bad for us, but many teens my age and younger perceive e-cigarette use, or “vaping,” differently, often stating that vaping is safe, and some even think it’s healthy,  neither of which is true. 

Throughout high school, vaping became part of the culture. Kids post Snapchat videos of themselves vaping at school events and leave class to vape in the bathroom. High schoolers have access to these products because 18-year-old students purchase them and sell them to their younger peers. I know that increasing the tobacco sales age to 21 will help keep these harmful products out of high schools.

These trendy tobacco products contain highly addictive nicotine and other harmful chemicals. They can be found at gas stations and convenience stores, often at the checkout counter next to the candy. If you ask me, vape is the worst gateway drug available. Kids don’t realize the high dose of addictive nicotine they are getting. The next thing you know they are smoking real cigarettes because e-cigarettes no longer give them the buzz they need. I saw this happen to many of my peers which is why I applaud Mendota Height’s leadership to increase the tobacco sales age to 21 and prevent future generations from a lifetime of addiction and disease. 

Max Gantman, Mendota Heights

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