I don't smoke, but I used to as a teenager, so I understand the topic first-hand. I want to make it clear how ridiculous it is that this is even a topic we're talking about.

Dear St. Cloud City Council,

Let me start by saying - Yes, I understand that tobacco is an issue for teenagers and highly addictive. Yes, I understand that smoking can cause health issues for young adults. Yes, I wish our young adults wouldn't ever start smoking. Is it right to tell a legal adult they can't buy something they've earned the right buy after 18 years if they wish? No!

How much sense does it make to spend this much time on a subject as this? It doesn't at all honestly. For over 2 hours last night, there was a debate about telling an 18-20 year old that they can't purchase tobacco in your town because 'big brother' can't let go of the reigns of your childhood, even though you are a legal adult.

I was an 18-year-old once. If I want to smoke, I'll go where I need to and purchase them. If St. Cloud won't sell to me then I'll happily go next door and buy them on my way into St. Cloud. If all the surrounding cities jump on this, I'll go as far as I need to buy them. You may remember not long ago, many of us would go to Wisconsin to buy liquor on Sunday if we needed. It was inconvenient, but we did it if we wanted it bad enough.

Rather than try to go this route, how about you educate our upcoming adults about the dangers of tobacco use as they approach the legal age to be considered an adult? THEN let them decide, as an adult, how they want to proceed.

Thank you, Mayor Dave Kleis, for standing up and saying you will veto this. The topic just seems to be the least of St. Cloud's issues, and I'm hoping there can be focus on the other "St. Cloud" topics of discussion that are way more pressing from this point forward.

In closing - Our kids' health is important to me and I'm all about spending extra time to make sure they grow up as healthy as possible. When you call "18" the age of an adult and allow them to represent our great country in uniform, or give them the right to vote...they've earned to right to be a tobacco user if they so please.

Sincerely,
Barry Allen