Robbinsdale restricts sale of flavored  tobacco products, sets cigar minimum price

Robbinsdale restricts sale of flavored tobacco products, sets cigar minimum price

The Robbinsdale City Council took strong measures to protect youth from the harms of tobacco on Dec. 5. The City Council voted unanimously to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores and to establish a minimum price for cheap, flavored cigars. Robbinsdale is the fifth Minnesota to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco, following, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Shoreview and Saint Louis Park. Several Minnesota cities have set minimum prices for cigars, including Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Brooklyn Center, Bloomington, Richfield and Maplewood. “For me, I want to lead and not just say the lowest common denominator is what we should go with,” councilmember Dan Rogan said after the first reading. “This change makes sense. It puts us in line with what other forward-looking communities are doing who are trying to address this.” In Robbinsdale, flavored cigars cost as little as three for 89 cents. This ordinance sets a minimum price of $2.60 per cigar and $10.40 for packs of four or more. Moving flavored cigars, which are often brightly packaged and are geared toward youth initiation, to adult-only tobacco stores reduces the visibility of the products. “Thank you to the city council for taking the steps to make Robbinsdale a healthier city,” said advocate Kate Richardson, who organized support within the community for the policies. “I’m thankful your involvement and concern for the issue and for listening to residents and taking it into consideration. “I look forward to continuing the process in making our city great and continuing the conversation around increasing the tobacco sales age to 21 in the near future. “We’ve taken a great...
Day at the Capitol 2016

Day at the Capitol 2016

Many advocates joined ANSR at the State Capitol in Saint Paul on May 3, 2016, for the Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation “Tobacco is Still a Problem” Day. These advocates learned about top tobacco-control issues, and then met with their respective legislators to educate them on these issues. Here are some of the photos from the day. <►>Seventeen youth from Tartan High's Students Against Destructive Decisions group and John Glenn Middle School's Support Our School group attended the Capitol and participated in discussions with their...
Kick Butts Day 2016

Kick Butts Day 2016

<►>John Glenn Middle School students put up this cup sign letting everyone know how dangerous tobacco is     March 16 marked yet another Kick Butts Day, and thousands of youth, teachers and health advocates in the United States spoke up against the tobacco industry. Locally, ANSR worked with two schools from ISD #622, as well as the ALMAS group at Henry Sibley High. ANSR also partnered with Minneapolis MAD DADS and Southside Urban Coalition for a Quit Cold Turkey event in Minneapolis. The various groups took a stand against being targeted by the industry. John Glenn Middle School and Tartan Senior High participated in events for ISD 622. The ALMAS (Anglos Latinos Motivated to Succeed) are in Mendota Heights. Youth at ISD 622 schools educated their peers on the dangers of tobacco, including flavored tobacco.  Students learned about the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. Students at John Glenn signed postcards to the Saint Paul City Council, thanking them for restricting the sale of flavored tobacco. In Minneapolis, the groups encouraged people to trade in their pack of cigarettes for a turkey sandwich. There was a live radio remote on KMOJ-FM promoting the event and discussing the dangers of smoking. There was live music during the event. The event educated the public about the benefits of quitting smoking. The event featured numerous giveaways for participants and also touted the latest contest sponsored by QuitPlan Services, the state’s help line to quit...
Saint Paul votes to restrict sale of flavored tobacco, raise price of cigars

Saint Paul votes to restrict sale of flavored tobacco, raise price of cigars

  The Saint Paul City Council showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of its residents on Jan. 6. The City Council voted unanimously to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores and increase the minimum price for single cigars to $2.60 each. All cigars sold in packages of four or less must be priced at $2.60 each, while cigars packaged at four or more must be at least $10.40. “It’s a big deal that we’re going to make it harder for youth to access these products,” council president Russ Stark said. Saint Paul joins Minneapolis in restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products. Other places to restrict flavored tobacco sales include Providence, R.I., and New York City. Saint Paul was one of the first cities in the state to set a minimum price for cigars, but the ordinance will raise the price to $2.60 to match surrounding cities. “I think this is a good ordinance that sends a strong message to the tobacco industry,” said Councilmember Dai Thao, one of five co-sponsors of the ordinance. “We can’t trade the health of future generations for the tobacco industry’s profit.” The room turned green as Councilmember Amy Brendmoen, who first introduced the ordinance, had supporters of the ordinance stand up. Most of the advocates sported a green shirt that said, “The tobacco industry targets youth with flavored tobacco … but there’s nothing sweet about tobacco.” The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting young people with cheap and flavored tobacco. Alicia Leizinger, from the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition, said she is thrilled Saint Paul...
Richfield sets minimum price for cigars

Richfield sets minimum price for cigars

  Richfield joined a growing list of Minnesota cities that have established a minimum price for flavored cigars. The Richfield City Council voted unanimously on Nov. 10, 2015, to set a minimum price of $2.60 per stick for non-premium cigars and set a minimum of $10.40 for packs of four or more. “I’m very pleased to see this moving forward,” Mayor Debbie Goettel said during the council meeting. “It’s in the best interest of Richfield’s youth and health.” The new ordinance brings Richfield’s tobacco licensing ordinance up to state minimums and puts into place pioneering policies that will protect youth from the harms of tobacco. This policy adds Richfield to a growing list of cities that have set minimum prices for the sale of non-premium cigars including: Brooklyn Center, Saint Paul, Bloomington, Maplewood and Minneapolis. Councilmember Michael Howard said. “I think this is the ordinance that really sort of gets at access for kids.” Additionally, the updated ordinance prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in city-owned parks and other recreational facilities; prohibits the sale of any electronic cigarette liquid that is not in child-resistant packaging and prohibits indoor smoking and sampling of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, except in establishments that are already licensed by the City. “This new ordinance will help protect Richfield youth from becoming lifelong tobacco users,” said Kari Oldfield, Legal and Community Outreach Coordinator for ANSR. “We are proud of the Richfield Advisory Board of Health and City Council for taking on this important issue and protecting the health of the residents and visitors of the city.” This new ordinance goes into effect on Dec. 19,...
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