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Opinion Letter: Tobacco 21 will make it more difficult for young adults to quit smoking

My dear friend Dave was 19 at the time and had a pack a day smoking habit that he just couldn't kick. He tried to quit using nicotine gums and patches but to no avail. One evening at the local game shop he revealed to me that in a last-ditch effort to quit smoking, he had started using dip so frequently that he developed mouth sores. It pained me to see him struggle and I wanted to help.

I've never personally used nicotine products but I have witnessed friends successfully quit smoking and reduce or eliminate their nicotine consumption by switching to vaping.

On Dave's 20th birthday I took him to the local vape shop and bought him a vaporizer. Because he was able to come into the store and receive guidance from professionals, he was able to select the products that were right for him and learn how to properly use and maintain his device.

Two years later Dave is one hundred percent tobacco-free. He was able to quit smoking before the age of 21 because he had legal access to vapor products in our community.

Had Tobacco-21 been in place when Dave was 20-years-old, it would have prevented him from receiving the help he needed to become tobacco-free. T21 has good intentions attempting to make it harder for 18-21 year olds from getting harmful tobacco products and that's something we can all stand for. But we need to keep in mind that T21 also kills the outlet for those same youth to legally get off tobacco products by vaping.

T21 will harm the only thing that saved my friend from tobacco. Please vote "no" on Tobacco-21.

Robby Olson

Perham MN