Many cities in the United States are raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years. Some of the rhetoric coming out of the groups campaigning for draconian legislation would be at home in a totalitarian state. It's not what you would expect (or shouldn't expect) from a country that likes to think that it leads the free world.
Detroit Lakes is one of those US cities contemplating raising the age, and supporters don't want to stop there. They are also "discussing exceeding state law in defining vaping as smoking, banning vaping where smoking is banned and removing the business owners right to choose, banning smoking/vaping patios, etc."
We keep on saying that once you give in to the health fascists they will keep on coming back for more. This is exactly what is happening here. Just to add a little more tugging of the heart strings, the following letter appeared in the local press last Sunday. Not only does it have inaccuracies, I hardly think this high school senior wrote every word of it. Indeed, you don't have to be a genius to work out the source of the misinformation. Here it is in full:
I am a senior at Detroit Lakes High School and I have a lot of friends that I don't think would smoke because my generation has received the concept that smoking is disgusting and horrible for your body.
Unfortunately, vaping has somehow sidestepped that concept and is now considered cool, because you can do cool smoke tricks with it, it's flavored, it comes in pretty packaging, and they think it's better than smoking.
But it is a tobacco product and it is addictive. Dealers claim people could get vape juice with "Zero percent tobacco" in it, but I'm not sure kids realize they are still inhaling whatever chemicals the dealer has put in their "custom" flavored juice, which then goes in their bodies.
Vapes are new, so we don't yet know the long term damage they may have on the delicate human body, just like cigarette smoking in the past. Back in the day, kids also thought smoking looked cool and didn't think it had any health effects on them. Little did they know that it was addicting and destructive to the body.
That's how I lost my grandparents. They started smoking when they were in high school and by the time the public found out the long term effects of tobacco, they were too addicted to stop. I never got to meet them because they died of lung cancer from smoking before I was born. I have only heard about them from stories my parents and relatives have told me. But it's scary to me how the history of tobacco has made a full circle with a new way to target my generation and entice them to use and get hooked on tobacco.
I am not a replacement tobacco user for my grandparents.
Please tell our City Council to pass the Tobacco 21 city ordinance because you want your kids to meet their grandkids.—Megan Gilsdorf, Detroit Lakes
The word she is looking for is nicotine, but she can't quite bring herself to say it. Instead, she keeps repeating that an e-cigarette is a tobacco product. She doesn't appear to be aware of any of the research into e-cigarettes from world class institutions like the Royal Collage of Physicians, and finishes by basically saying that if you want your children to live long enough to see their grandchildren, raising the legal age of smoking to 21 and trying to eliminate vaping as well, will somehow achieve the goal. And nowhere does she ever mention personal choice or freedom.
This is what those who believe in free choice are up against in the United States. Smokers are treated like pariahs, and vapers are rapidly being treated the same way. Both are wrong.