Shoreview raises tobacco sale age to 21

Shoreview raises tobacco sale age to 21

  In a growing trend in Minnesota, Shoreview became the sixth city in the state to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 when the Shoreview City Council unanimously approved the ordinance on June 7. “The city of Shoreview has a long history of tobacco prevention,” Mayor Sandy Martin said. “This will be monumental.” Shoreview joins Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth and North Mankato in Minnesota. There are five states and more than 300 municipalities that have raised the sales age for all tobacco products 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. “I want to help other youth not get started using tobacco products,” said Mounds View senior Meghan McFarling, who was one of four students who testified. “Vaping has exploded in popularity, and my peers aren’t aware of the danger of products, such as JUUL. This ordinance will make it harder for young kids to get access to these products by taking them out of the high schools. This will help to stop the start.” Shoreview has been a champion for health. Just two years ago, the council voted to restrict the sale of flavored products to adult-only tobacco stores. A national consensus is growing to prevent addictions and future health problems by raising the sale age of tobacco products to 21. Research shows that increasing the tobacco age in Minnesota would prevent 30,000 youth from becoming smokers over the next 15...
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation Day at the Capitol 2018

Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation Day at the Capitol 2018

  Thanks to all our partners and advocates who made the Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation a great day! Around 300 total advocates gathered to meet with their respective legislators on March 22, 2018. Youth from John Glenn Middle School, Humboldt Senior High, Henry Sibley High, Mounds View High and also from the Vision in Living Life: Change is Possible program partnered with ANSR. Check out their...
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....
Minneapolis Parks go 100% tobacco-free

Minneapolis Parks go 100% tobacco-free

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of residents and visitors to Minneapolis parks on March 8. The Board voted unanimously to make all Minneapolis parks tobacco-free, with an exemption for use of tobacco with traditional Native American spiritual or cultural ceremonies. “We are excited to join with dozens of other local park systems in becoming completely tobacco-free, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller said. “This policy supports our mission to promote healthy lifestyles and environments for residents and park visitors across Minneapolis and will contribute to many park patrons’ use and enjoyment of our system. I also want to thank Commissioner Steffanie Musich for taking a lead role in developing this important policy. The Board’s current Smoking/Tobacco Use Policy, which was approved in 2009, does not address the use of chewing tobacco or electronic cigarettes. The new tobacco policy expands to cover both of those uses and also honors traditional Native American spiritual or cultural ceremonies. A July 2016 survey of Minneapolis residents conducted by Morris Leatherman for the Minneapolis Healthier Parks Initiative found that 60 percent of respondents supported Minneapolis parks being 100 percent tobacco-free at all times. On Wednesday, a diverse group of Minneapolis residents, including LaTrisha Vetaw of NorthPoint Health & Wellness and Breathe Free North and Emily Anderson from the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota (ANSR), spoke out in support of the policy. Vetaw said the policy was the result of hardworking, dedicated young people who wanted to see it happen. “The Minneapolis Park Board stepped up to the plate and did a great thing...
Shoreview votes to restrict flavored tobacco

Shoreview votes to restrict flavored tobacco

The Shoreview City Council showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of its residents on Nov. 21, 2016. The City Council voted unanimously to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to one adult-only tobacco store. “Shoreview is showing leadership, as it has over the years,” Mayor Sandy Martin said in the meeting. “We are (making) a good leadership decision and hopefully many more communities will follow us.” Shoreview joins Saint Paul and Minneapolis in restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products. Other places to restrict flavored tobacco sales include Providence, R.I., and New York City. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration banned flavoring in cigarettes but didn’t extend this to other tobacco products. Shoreview’s action closes that loophole. The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting young people with flavored tobacco.  Katie Engman, program director for the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition, said she is excited to see Shoreview take action. “Shoreview has proven itself to be a leader willing to stand up to the tobacco industry’s blatant attempts at hooking kids with candy-flavored tobacco,” Engman said. “Shoreview has always shown strong leadership and was one of the first cities to ban the sale of tobacco by vending machines. The city continues to showcase a long-term commitment to creating a healthy community. Shoreview’s leadership and vision make it a great place. We hope this encourages other communities to stand up to the tobacco industry and protect youth.” The Ramsey Tobacco Coalition is a program of the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota (ANSR), a Saint Paul-based non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the human and economic costs of tobacco. <►>Meghan McFarling,...
Making strides on college campuses

Making strides on college campuses

ANSR has been working with the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Macalester College for several years on their tobacco-free campus policies. With support from ANSR, the U went tobacco-free in 2014 and Macalester followed shortly thereafter in 2015. Since the policies’ enactment, ANSR staff has continued to work with the schools to make sure students, faculty, staff and visitors are aware that tobacco use is not allowed anywhere on campus and to ensure tobacco users looking to quit are connected to on-campus cessation help. ANSR has helped each school develop unique campaigns tailored to their needs. At the U, ANSR helped create and launch the Share the Air Ambassador program, which is now in its second semester of existence. This program, supported by the MDH Tobacco-Free Communities grant at ANSR, recruits students, faculty and staff to be ambassadors for the tobacco-free campus policy. The ambassadors are trained to visit tobacco-use “hot spots” around campus and politely approach policy violators to remind them about the policy. The ambassadors also distribute free “Share the Air” chewing gum, with information about the cessation services available at Boynton Health Services printed on the pack. The program has been highly successful. The majority of policy violators have been cordial, immediately stop using tobacco and take the information about cessation resources. This semester, the ambassadors have another tool: free “Share the Air” water bottles they can give to anyone they encounter who is not using tobacco. This is another way to positively promote the policy and thank people for remembering to “Share the Air” At Macalester, ANSR worked with Health and Wellness Center staff to...
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