By Sharon Erpestad, Wilder
As a cancer caregiver, I have seen the devastating impact of cancer. I lost both of my parents to lung cancer. They both started smoking at an early age and used tobacco for decades. That's why I am so encouraged to see so many Minnesotans rally behind Tobacco 21 .
The legislature is continuing to discuss this issue, and I am asking Rep. Rod Hamilton to make sure Tobacco 21 becomes law. There are 12 states that have raised the age of tobacco sales to 21. With it's above-average high school and adult smoking rates, Minnesota should be the next state. Studies have shown that 95 percent of people who smoke started before 21, and if they haven't started by then they are less likely to smoke later. I want to make sure my grandchildren don't smoke.
Rep Hamilton, as a member of the Health and Human Services Committee I am encouraging you to keep Tobacco 21 in mind. Our kids deserve better than a life of addiction to tobacco products.