Lauderdale 14th T21 city, also restricts all flavored tobacco sales

Lauderdale 14th T21 city, also restricts all flavored tobacco sales

  Like many of its neighboring cities, Lauderdale placed a priority on the health of its youth and residents on Oct. 23, 2018, when the City Council unanimously voted to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products and to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Lauderdale is the 14th Minnesota city to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, Saint Peter, Richfield, Roseville, Minnetonka and Excelsior have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. Community members and high school students spoke up in favor of the two measures during the public hearing two weeks ago. Hearing from the students about the prevalence of tobacco use, particularly e-cigarettes, in local schools cemented things for council member Jeffrey Dains. “It was very impressive to have the young people come in and talk about the significant tobacco usage,” Dains said. “I was persuaded before they came, but even more so after they came. It was heartening to hear them.” For the first time in 17 years, the youth tobacco use rate climbed, according to the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. Much of the increase has been attributed to increased use of e-cigarettes and cheap, flavored cigars. “I’m proud to live in a city that puts the lives of their community members over tobacco industry profits,” resident and advocate Melissa Walker said. “I lost my father to cancer, and my husband...
Falcon Heights restricts sale of all flavored tobacco products, raises tobacco sales age to 21

Falcon Heights restricts sale of all flavored tobacco products, raises tobacco sales age to 21

  Falcon Heights took major steps to protect its youth and residents on May 9, when it became the first city in the state to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores and raise the tobacco sales age to 21. The measures passed on a 3-2 vote. Falcon Heights is the second city in two days – and seventh overall in Minnesota – to raise the tobacco sales age to 21, following Shoreview, which voted to raise the age to 21 on Monday. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth and North Mankato have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. Mayor Peter Lindstrom cast the deciding vote after talking about how the letters he received in support of the ordinance hit home for him. He quoted a student who wrote, “We need to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice.” “For 17 years, all the efforts have worked, but there’s been a change, and we need to double down our efforts now. Not tomorrow, but now,” Lindstrom said, citing the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, which saw an increase in youth tobacco use for the first time in 17 years. Much of the increase has been attributed to increased use of e-cigarettes and cheap, flavored cigars. “It’s everywhere,” said Roseville Area High School junior Vakare Bartkaitis. “There are no doors on our bathrooms because of people using e-cigarettes. You can smell it walking into the bathrooms. They...
Saint Paul restricts sale of menthol tobacco products

Saint Paul restricts sale of menthol tobacco products

The Saint Paul City Council showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of its residents on Nov. 1 by restricting the sale of menthol tobacco products to adult-only tobacco and liquor stores. The council passed the ordinance 6-1. Councilmember Jane Prince authored the ordinance, which is designed to reduce youth smoking and combat tobacco industry targeting. “I decided to support the menthol restriction in response to a very broad-based coalition of community groups: people of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, the medical community, and our own public health department,” Prince said. “The coalition made me aware that the tobacco industry has targeted young people and communities of color for decades, focusing the sale of menthol products in communities like the ones I represent. I am fed up with this horrible industry that has cost our city, state and nation a tremendous fortune in dollars and, more importantly, lives.” The tobacco industry has targeted the African American community for five decades with menthol tobacco products. The industry also highly targets youth, women and the LGBTQ community. This has contributed to the health disparities seen in Saint Paul and across Minnesota. “Menthol is so addictive that it makes it extremely hard to quit,” said Sylvia Amos, President of the Minnesota State Baptist Convention Women’s Auxiliary. “This fight is about saving lives. Saint Paul is fortunate to have a City Council that is willing to lead on this issue.” The ordinance had tremendous community support behind it, including 50-plus organizations involved in the Minnesota Menthol Coalition, such as Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, African American Leadership Forum, Saint Paul...
Minneapolis restricts sale of menthol tobacco

Minneapolis restricts sale of menthol tobacco

Minneapolis – The Minneapolis City Council showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of its residents on Aug. 4 by restricting the sale of menthol tobacco products to adult-only tobacco and liquor stores. The council passed the ordinance 10-2. Council Members Cam Gordon and Lisa Bender co-authored the ordinance, which is designed to reduce youth smoking and combat tobacco industry targeting. “The community, especially many of our youth and a wide range of community members, asked us to do more to address the unique dangers of menthol tobacco,” Gordon, chair of the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee, said. “The deadly consequences of tobacco use are undeniable, and limiting youth access to menthol tobacco is one thing we can do to prevent some people from starting and getting addicted, which will improve the health of future generations.” The tobacco industry has targeted the African American community for five decades with menthol tobacco products. The industry also highly targets youth, women and the LGBTQ community. “I am proud to support our youth in their effort to restrict access to menthol tobacco in order to reduce the likelihood they will start using tobacco products and ultimately suffer from preventable problems, including heart disease and cancer,” Bender said. “We know the marketing of these products is targeted to young people, specifically black youth, and we’ve heard loud and clear from these young people that they do not want these products readily available in their communities.” The ordinance had tremendous community support behind it, including 50-plus organizations involved in the Minnesota Menthol Coalition, as well as numerous African American Community leaders....
ANSR participates in community discussions on menthol

ANSR participates in community discussions on menthol

St. Paul community leaders, public health advocates discuss menthol About 55 St. Paul African American community leaders, youth, public health professionals and interested community members gathered for a Menthol Community Conversation on June 17. National experts from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council presented to the group about the deliberate targeting of the African American community by tobacco companies using menthol.  They presented information about what other communities have done to reduce the impact of menthol on their communities. The meetings’ intent was to raise awareness about menthol and its impact on St. Paul’s African American community. The St. Paul meeting was one of six meetings held that week across the Metro. Ramsey Tobacco Coalition and our partners at Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation coordinated and hosted the event.  Youth from Vision In Living Life: Change is Possible performed a skit to the audience to introduce the Rondo neighborhood and dramatize its history. Those in attendance learned how the tobacco industry has strategically targeted African American communities with menthol, the devastating effect, and what can be done to put an end to the...
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