Our View: What’s the point?

Kent Stater Editors

The city of Cleveland is banning the sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to people under 21.

People between 18 and 20 can still use tobacco products; they just cannot buy it.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has three months to sign city council’s ordinance into law.

A portion of tobacco sales goes toward a sin tax that pays for the three Cleveland sports stadiums (Progressive Field, FirstEnergy Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena), as well as several Cleveland-area arts programs.

The arts tax brings in thirty cents a pack, and when it began 10 years ago, it brought in $19 million a year. Current projections have the number down to $15 million next year.

The central benefit of cigarettes and other tobacco products is an economic one, and to prevent a segment of the population from contributing to that economic benefit does not make sense.

It is not as if the city is trying to stop young people from smoking for health reasons; they are still allowed to smoke.

While we appreciate the city’s efforts to try to keep young adults healthy, it is doing so in an ineffective way.

The city of Cleveland should either prevent those between 18 to 20 to smoke along with preventing the sale to them or allow them to continue to purchase tobacco products.