Letter: When it comes to tobacco, St. Louis Park should be consistent about the age of full maturity

To the editor:

Society has generally accepted and laws have supported the idea that 18 is the year of full maturation. At this age, one is assumed to be old enough, trustworthy enough, mature enough to face life’s most difficult decision-making, from marrying and starting a family, to making major financial decisions, to taking part in activities which may be temporarily or permanently harmful to them.

Yet the city council of St. Louis Park has just voted that these mature, capable, young adults cannot be trusted at 18 to decide to purchase a pack of cigarettes. The council seems to imply that these young people must be protected from themselves in that decision-making until they reach the “ripe old age” of 21.

I wonder what hard evidence the council has to prove that our young people cannot be trusted to make this decision at 18, and I wonder what hard evidence the council has to prove that 21 is the “magical age of maturation” and not 31, 41 or 51?

The idea that an 18-year-old is mature enough to decide to start a family or join the military but must wait until 21 to decide to buy a pack of cigarettes is silly at best. This city council needs to decide when full maturity takes place – 18 or 21 (or 31, 41 or 51) – and set all relating laws accordingly.

John Kosa

St. Louis Park