Letter: Thank you city council for raising tobacco sale age

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Tobacco use continues to be the single largest preventable cause of death in the United States, with nearly 90 percent of smokers beginning before the age of 18. Oral Health Kansas, a local nonprofit working to ensure quality oral health care for all Kansans, applauds the Topeka City Council for the passage of Tobacco21 on December 5. This ordinance, effective December 11, raised the age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21 within Topeka city limits.

Many recognize the harmful effects tobacco use can have on your overall health, but it can also negatively impact your oral health. Research shows smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. It can also lead to increased rates of gum disease, cavities, mouth pain, and cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips. Councilwoman Schwartz led the effort to keep Topekans healthy by championing the ordinance. Thank you to council members Hiller, Clear, Ortiz, De La Isla, Jensen, Schwartz and Harmon for putting health first and ensuring a healthier Topeka for generations to come.

TANYA DORF BRUNNER, Topeka

 

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