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Reader's View: Tobacco lobby threatens Minnesota's youth

As a public health student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and as an intern at the American Lung Association, I have become keenly aware of the impact public policy has on the health and well-being of our community. This is why I am very concerned about the impact the Big-Tobacco lobby is having at our state Capitol.

This legislative session there are 13 paid tobacco lobbyists at the Capitol looking to lower the price of tobacco products in our state. In public health, we understand that keeping the price of tobacco high is one of the most proven and effective ways to keep people, especially youth, from smoking.

Currently, the House omnibus tax bill includes measures to benefit Big Tobacco by repealing the tobacco tax inflator and by reducing taxes on premium cigars. If this version of the tax bill passes, then Big Tobacco could, once again, rake in profits at the expense of young lives lost to death, disease and a lifetime of addiction to nicotine.

Laura Miller