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LETTER: Tobacco product ID law is a vast overreach

A new state law requires that clerks scan the ID cards of people under 40 who are attempting to buy tobacco products. While I applaud the concept of deterring and preventing minors from buying tobacco products, this law should be reconsidered.

If it is so difficult for a clerk to identify an 18-year-old, it must be really hard for that clerk to identify a 40-year-old. Consequently, some stores are now demanding to scan the ID’s of all customers buying either tobacco or alcohol products, whatever their age, and citing this law. Talk about overreach.

The real danger, however, is that the bar code on a driver’s license contains much more information than just a birthdate. How can we possibly know that these clerks or their stores are not gathering personal information about their customers? It is an identity theft problem waiting to happen.

This law also discriminates against people who lack the ability and means to obtain a state ID. As we have been told by Democrats who object to voter ID laws, people of color and people below the poverty level may not have the means to obtain state ID.

If people cannot or will not get an ID to vote, they cannot get an ID to buy tobacco products. Ergo, the tobacco ID law must be discriminatory. Or alternatively, there can be no reasonable objection to voter ID.

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