Reader's view: No harm in limiting kids' access to cigs
I'm a student. I spend my time hopping from lecture to lecture and subject to subject -- and I see dozens upon dozens of different faces and overhear tens of different conversations that I otherwise wouldn't. As a result, I have a near infinite n...
I'm a student. I spend my time hopping from lecture to lecture and subject to subject - and I see dozens upon dozens of different faces and overhear tens of different conversations that I otherwise wouldn't. As a result, I have a near infinite number of windows into other people's lives. Though I hate to give it any attention, one issue that keeps popping up around me in unexpected spots is drug use of all kinds, tobacco especially. People are complaining about their withdrawal, people are claiming they're going to quit, the whole shebang.
As policies are being talked about around me - the proposed restriction of menthol cigarettes to adults-only tobacco stores in Duluth, especially - I've paid a little more attention to the young people around me. Just the other day, I saw a teenage girl with a pack of cigarettes situated snuggly in the pocket of her hoodie. I see kids waiting for transit, asking random men with yellowed beards for a smoke and similar people asking me if I want to buy one for 50 cents. At this point, it doesn't even surprise me anymore; it's just not shocking or surprising anymore to see a teen with a half-zipped bag at 4 in the afternoon, trying to hide themselves around a corner to light up. Surely, they're not surprised, either; it's probably how they got into it in the first place, by seeing it around them as a constant.
Taking menthols out of places accessible to minors? It'd significantly reduce how much of it they see. And it'd do away with extra flavorings that attract young people, as well. It'd make it much harder to access for both minors and adults alike - which is something I don't see a single downside to.