Locally Grown: Why do cities continue to sell cigarettes?

Last week saw many stories in the media like this one from USA Today, Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says:

Smooth ReaperEven brief exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm to the body, damaging cells and inflaming tissue in ways that can lead to serious illness and death, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s new report on tobacco, the first such report in four years.

While the report, out today, focuses on the medical effects of smoke on the body, it also sheds light on why cigarettes are so addictive: They are designed to deliver nicotine more quickly and more efficiently than cigarettes did decades ago.

I last whined about this policy in August of 2007 (Should the City of Northfield be selling gateway drugs to its citizens? Alcohol, yes. Tobacco, no) and before that in January of ’07 with a faux news post, Northfield Hospital board opts for cigarette revenue.

I really don’t understand why the Northfield Hospital Board, the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use (MTF), the Northfield School Board, and other local organizations concerned with health and youth chemical issues don’t pressure the Northfield City Council to get out of the tobacco business. Don’t they take ClearWay Minnesota‘s campaign seriously? We all pay the price for tobacco.

This post was written by Griff Wigley and originally published on Locally Grown Northfield. Follow Griff on Twitter: @griff_wigley

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 12/14/2010 - 03:09 pm.

    I’m the communications director of the American Lung Association in Minnesota, and no stranger to discussions about tobacco use.

    I would agree that it is counterproductive for municipal-owned retail facilities to sell tobacco products. City, county and state governments are responsible for protecting the health and safety of their residents, and selling tobacco certainly works against this core responsibility.

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