Protect Equal Adult Access to Tobacco Harm Reduction in Minneapolis!

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Tobacco 21 (T21), aims to raise the age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21. In doing so, it defies state ruled Age of Majority and unfairly discriminates against a segregated group of adult citizens- who are otherwise expected to bear the same liabilities and legal obligations as older adults- by removing their right to freedom of choice and equality.

History has shown us repeatedly that social engineered, arbitrary prohibitive measures are extremely ineffective in addressing substance use and inevitably backfire by laying groundwork for black market and increasing youth access, increasing use rates through psychological reactance, and adding to overall diffidence toward the law.

Additionally, T21 would prevent adult access to tobacco harm reduction (THR) through smoke-free vapor products- a proven 95-percent safer alternative to smoking. As a result, smokers who begin before age 18 will remain tethered to cigarettes for an additional 3 years, causing unnecessary harm to their health. Likewise, young adults who have already quit smoking via vaping would be sent back to smoking, as cigarettes are far easier to obtain under this policy.

T21 is a risky policy rooted in hypothetical speculation. No empirical data exists to support claims of effectiveness. Youth and adult smoking rates are already at record lows and have been steadily declining for years. To tamper with this progress is imprudent.

We urge Mayor Frey and Council Members to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, per sworn oath, by protecting and upholding the individual freedoms and autonomy of all citizens equally. Please help keep our smoking rates on the decline and protect adult access to THR by opposing Tobacco 21 laws in Minneapolis, MN.

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