I commend the St. Paul City Council for introducing an ordinance to protect youth by restricting flavored tobacco products to adult-only stores and raising the minimum price of flavored cigars. As someone who has worked with cancer survivors since 2008, I see first-hand the devastating health consequences of tobacco addiction. As a mother, the growing popularity of these products among youth is particularly concerning to me.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seven out of 10 students who use tobacco say they have used flavored tobacco. Since almost 90 percent of smokers started before they were 18, restricting the sale of flavored tobacco is a sure-fire way to prevent youth initiation.
Working with cancer survivors truly drives home the value of prevention. We need do everything we can to keep our young people free from nicotine addiction.
Cathy Skinner, St. Anthony Park