Sample Letter to council

Download Sample Letter to Council

Your Name
Address
City, State, Zip Code
Phone number
[Insert date]   

The Honorable [insert full name]
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Councilmember [insert last name],

I’m a ____ year resident of CITY and a ______ (profession, retired, parent, etc). I am writing to urge you to adopt a city ordinance that raises the legal minimum age for sale of all tobacco and nicotine products to age 21. Thus far, over 160 cities in 12 states including New York City, Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and San Francisco, and the entire states of Hawaii and California, have taken this important step in protecting our children.

For years, adolescent smoking rates have been coming down, although nearly one in five high school seniors still uses tobacco.  Now, however, adolescents’ use of e-cigarettes, nicotine vapor devices, hookahs and small cigars has gone up dramatically, threatening to completely erase a decade of progress.

The enormously powerful tobacco industry lobby has derailed initiatives in Congress and our state legislature.  But, where federal and state governance fails, local leadership has succeeded.  Virtually all statewide workplace and public smoking bans began with local government regulations.

During the years from ages 18-21, youthful experimentation often accelerates into daily use. It’s a time when the adolescent brain is highly vulnerable to the effects of a powerful addictive agent like nicotine.  Exposure during this period may result in permanent neurological receptor changes that lead to a lifetime nicotine habit and resulting illness.  Raising the nicotine/tobacco age also better protects younger teens, as 90% of those who provide cigarettes to kids under 18 are themselves under 21.  As a result, raising the tobacco sales age to 21 has been shown to reduce high school smoking by over 50%.

You can find other useful information at Tobacco21.org, and, of course, I would be honored to speak with you personally about ways to better protect our kids.

 

Sincerely,

[Your full name]