To the editor:
As a parent of two young children, I was excited to see Edina take such an important step to prevent kids from becoming addicted to tobacco products.
By increasing the tobacco age to 21, Edina is putting their kids and the health of their community first. Bloomington can continue to be a public health leader by passing its own policy to increase the tobacco age to 21.
When my family made the decision to move to Bloomington two years ago, we did so for many reasons including wanting our kids to grow up in a community that prioritizes healthy living. Keeping our community’s young people healthy is a critical part of our overall wellbeing and should be a goal we all share. More than 95 percent of adult smokers start before the age of 21, and “Big Tobacco” takes advantage of this by heavily targeting our young people, including my kids. By raising the age to 21, we can help provide our kids with a healthier environment in which to grow up.
As a parent and a lifelong public health professional, I would like to see our city council members raise the tobacco age to 21. There is no better way to protect our community’s children from the harmful effects of smoking than stopping them from ever starting. My family joins many parents and community members in urging the Bloomington City Council to create a healthier future for Bloomington.
Whittet works in the cessation department of ClearWay Minnesota.