I realize I’m in a small minority of people who feel that the Portland City Council made a grievous mistake by raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.

It seems very wrong to me that an adult, 18 to 20 years of age, can offer his life for this country, then come home to Portland and be told he can’t buy a pack of cigarettes or a cigar because he is under the age of 21. These people can be horribly wounded or end up with post-traumatic stress disorder and yet be deprived of a right given freely to everyone over 21. This is blatant age discrimination.

If the council doesn’t like citizens using tobacco, then they should make it illegal for anyone, period! Of course, tobacco kills people, but at least it kills them equally. So if its sale is banned, it should be banned for all adults.

Picking on a group not large enough to defend themselves may make the goody-goodies on the City Council feel puffed up now, but sooner or later they’ll pick on other groups they don’t like unless they are stopped.

I’m 72. I watched my friends come home from the horror of Vietnam and get an unfair thrashing from our elders. I don’t ever want to see our young adults treated that way again.

Smoking hurts all equally, and a ban on its sale should be as equal. Young voting citizens 18 to 20 deserve respect and should not be ganged up on by old glory-seekers.

Curt Fordyce

South Portland