Maine should ban flavored tobacco

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A recent column in the Bangor Daily News from a major convenience store chain owner opposed ending the sale of flavored tobacco products in Maine; however, I believe his reasoning was short-sighted.

The author said tobacco consumption is at an all-time low. Unfortunately, smoking among high school students is at a staggering 33%, giving Maine the deplorable distinction of having one of the highest teen smoking rates in the entire country. Clearly, the current 21+ Tobacco Act fails to keep these products out of the reach of our children.

Studies show that one in four Maine high school students now use flavored e-cigarettes. This rate has nearly doubled in the last year alone and will continue to rise if nothing is done.

Maine children deserve better than a life plagued by tobacco addiction. Most smokers report wanting to quit, but find it difficult to completely quit the habit due to the overwhelming effects of tobacco addiction; this fate is something we can help fight for future generations.

I understand that small business profits are a valid concern; however, no profit is more important than the health and well-being of our children. A recent poll found nearly two-thirds of Mainers support a bill that would end the sale of flavored tobacco products statewide.

We should rally and show our support for LD 1550, a law to end the sale of flavored tobacco products throughout our state. I ask our legislators to pass this legislation.

Elizabeth Singer


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