Consider this: outlaw foolish editorials

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In the Times latest Our View editorial, titled “Consider this: Just outlaw cigarettes”, the Times talks about the fact that the “city of St. Cloud is considering whether to increase the age to buy tobacco in the city to 21.” Put differently, the geniuses on the St. Cloud City Council are thinking about hurting St. Cloud convenience stores.

Despite the fact that this doesn’t make any economic sense, the Times wrote “Really, though, if elected and professional officials of any government wanted to do what’s best for their constituents, they would simply outlaw tobacco.” Though the Times has denied the fact that it’s biased against conservative, this is proof that the Times Editorial Board displays progressive traits. Specifically, they show that they’re control freaks, which is the first trait to look for with progressives.

In this post, I cited statistics verifying that raising the cigarette tax hurts revenues. The article I cited said “In 2009, Washington, D.C. raised its cigarette tax from $2.00 to $2.50 per pack. The District projected the new tax would generate $45 million in revenue, about 20 percent above 2009 levels. Instead, revenues came in $12 million below projections and $4.2 million lower than before the tax was imposed. Similarly, New Jersey reported a $52 million shortfall in tobacco tax revenues after it raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007.”

Do the city council members think that raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 will cause 18-20 year-olds to quit smoking? If that’s what they think, they’re too stupid to represent me. That isn’t what will happen:

Should Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed 94 cent per pack cigarette tax increase succeed, it is likely that the state will see a large revenue shortfall due to smokers shifting their consumption across state lines, to the Internet, or to illicit black market tobacco.

Young people won’t quit. They’ll just find out different places to buy cigarettes. The thought that the other cities will follow suit is foolish. They won’t.

Crave the Change, a Central Minnesota organization that’s spent the past decade fighting tobacco use, offers an array of statistics on why boosting the age to 21 makes sense.

CtC might have some decent ideas but it’s irrelevant. Kids simply find other ways of buying things they want.

Finally, as the St. Cloud City Council approaches a Nov. 9 public hearing on the matter, residents of neighboring cities Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Waite Park and St. Augusta should urge their elected leaders to act, too.