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Port: Raising the smoking age is a dumb way to address teen smoking

Display of Juuls. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

In Minnesota, many local governments are joining a national trend toward raising the age for tobacco use to 21. In North Dakota, as the Fargo Forum reported over the weekend, that trend hasn’t found footing.

That’s something the Forum would like to change, advocating for the age-21 tobacco prohibition in an editorial.

There are a lot of things wrong with this argument, not the least of which is lumping vaping or e-cigarettes in with overall tobacco use. While it’s true vaping rates nationally, including among kids, is on the rise there has been a corresponding decline in smoking. While vaping isn’t good for you, and while most of us can agree that kids under 18 probably shouldn’t be vaping at all, can we at least acknowledge that more vaping and less smoking is a net gain for public health?

Carrying on as though vaping were an activity equivalent, in its impact on health, to cigarette smoking is just plain ignorant.

They aren’t the same thing.

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