The Southside Urban Coalition would like to thank the Minneapolis City Council for considering measures to protect our youth from the harms of tobacco.
Members of the City Council recently proposed an ordinance that would restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco shops and increase the price of cheap, flavored cigars and cigarillos. If this ordinance is passed we could see a significant decrease in the number of youth who use flavored tobacco products.
Flavored products are designed and marketed to appeal to youth. They have extremely cheap prices, with some found for as low as three for $1, and are available in corner stores and gas stations that youth visit each day. They usually come in flavors such as bubble gum, cotton candy and cherry cola. The flavoring masks the harshness of the tobacco, leading youth to believe they are not as harmful as conventional cigarettes. Youth are also drawn to the bright and colorful packaging of these products, which often resembles candy wrappers.
By taking these products out of the stores youth frequent, the Minneapolis City Council will help send the message that these products are not safe.
Taking this step will prevent many youth from starting a lifelong, deadly addiction.
Sadie Lundquist on behalf of the Southside Urban Coalition