1904 - American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is founded, making it the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S.
1908 - Rude Habit
The sale of cigarettes is banned by 11 states because it is considered a “rude habit.”
1942 - Soldier Rations
Tobacco becomes a protected crop during World War II, and cigarettes are included in soldier rations.
1954 - Marlboro Cowboy
- The Marlboro Cowboy is first used.
- The first smoking-related lawsuit is filed.
- The tobacco industry issues “Frank Statement.”
1964 - First Surgeon General’s Report
Surgeon General Luther Terry issues first Surgeon General’s Report on smoking.
1966 - Cigarette Warning
Cigarette warning displayed on packs. “Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.”
1971 - TV Ban
- Cigarette advertising is banned from radio and TV airways.
- RJ Reynolds begins sponsorship of NASCAR with its Winston brand. Meanwhile Philip Morris begins sponsorship of the women’s tennis circuit with its Virginia Slims brand.
1973 - ANSR Founded
ANSR is founded, making it the oldest organization in Minnesota dedicated solely to tobacco control.
1974 - Don’t Smoke Day
D-Day (Don’t Smoke Day) starts in Monticello, Minn. This leads to the annual nationwide “Great American Smokeout.”
1973 - Battle of the Sexes
Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King hold a Battle of the Sexes sponsored by Philip Morris.
1979 - Free Sample Ban
Minneapolis and Saint Paul are first cities in the nation to ban free samples of cigarettes.
1984 - Nicotine Gum
- Nicotine gum is approved by the FDA.
- New rotating warning labels on cigarette packs begin.
- The Minnesota Smoke-Free 2000 Coalition formed.
- Minnesota Department of Health publishes first coordinated tobacco control plan in the nation.
1985 - Nonsmoking and Disease Prevention Act
The Minnesota Omnibus Nonsmoking and Disease Prevention Act passes with less than one cent of the tax going for tobacco prevention. MDH creates the country’s first state-funded tobacco control program with this.
1986 - U.S. Surgeon General
- A secondhand smoke warning is issued by the U.S. Surgeon General. It said, “Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer.”
- Minnesota becomes the first state to ban free samples of smokeless tobacco.
- Minnesota dedicates $1.6 million for tobacco prevention.
1987 - The Metrodome
- The Metrodome is the first professional sports stadium in the country to ban tobacco advertising.
- Minnesota bans free distribution of cigarettes.
1988 - Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines is first airline to ban smoking on all flights in North America.
1989 - Cigarette Vending Machines
- Target Center is the first smoke-free sports arena.
- White Bear Lake, Minn., has first ban on cigarette vending machines.
1990 - Domestic Flights & Buses
Smoking is banned on all domestic flights less than six hours and all intercity buses.
1991 - American Heart Association
- The American Heart Association (AHA) says secondhand smoke causes 53,000 heart-related deaths per year.
- The American Stop Smoking Intervention Study for Cancer Prevention (ASSIST) is created by the National Cancer Institute. Minnesota is one of 17 states funded by it.
1993 - Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- The State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBS) sue tobacco companies for violating Minnesota laws against consumer fraud, deceptive advertising and for failing to disclose the addictive qualities of tobacco.
- The City of Preston, Minn., passes the first point-of-sale advertising ordinance. Unfortunately, it was overturned in court.
- The Environmental Protection Agency says secondhand smoke can cause cancer in humans and is responsible for 3,000 U.S. deaths yearly in nonsmokers.
- A law requiring Minnesota licensed family daycare to be smoke-free during hours of operation passes.
- The City of Maple Grove passes a policy prohibiting smoking in parks.
1997 - Youth Access Bill
- The Minnesota state legislature passes the Youth Access Bill, regulating retail tobacco sales and requiring compliance checks.
- Joe Camel’s reign comes to an end thanks to pressure from advocacy groups.
1998 - Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco
- The State of Minnesota and BCBS settle with the tobacco companies. In the settlement, $6.1 billion is awarded to the state, with a separate award made to BCBS and the attorneys.
- The tobacco industry settles lawsuits with 46 states, agreeing to pay about $206 billion over 25 years for costs to treat smokers for tobacco-related disease.
- The Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco is created with $202 million in settlement dollars to be spent over two decades.
1999 - Minnesota Tobacco Endowment
- The Minnesota Tobacco endowment is created, funding up to $21 million per year for prevention.
- ASSIST ends.
2000 - Moose Lake
- Moose Lake, Minn., is the first city to adopt a local clean indoor air ordinance.
- World Health Organization begins work on the first international tobacco treaty.
- The Public Health Law Center is formed.
2003 - Tobacco-Free Communities
- Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota legislature eliminate the Tobacco Use Prevention and Local Public Health Endowment, ending more than 150 grants.
- Legislature dedicates $3.4 million for Tobacco Use Prevention funding for community-based initiatives. • Minnesota researchers have the nation’s first scientific publication on smoke-free multi-unit housing in British Medical Journal.
- The Cloquet/Carlton County Public Housing Authority passes a smokefree policy.
- MDH releases its first RFP for Tobacco-Free Communities.
2005 - Health Impact Fee
Minnesota passes “Health Impact Fee” of 75 cents per pack to help balance state budget.
2006 - ClearWay Minnesota
- MPAAT changes its name to ClearWay Minnesota.
- The U.S. Surgeon General releases report on secondhand smoke.
- Minnesota grants are awarded to communities from the endowment from “Prevention MN” – a program of BCBS of Minnesota.
- RJ Reynolds buys Conwood, the second largest maker of smokeless tobacco after U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (UST), for $35 billion.
2009 - Family Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
- The Minnesota legislature funds SHIP with $47 million and two years of funding available.
- The Family Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passes at the federal level charging the FDA with regulation of tobacco products.
2010 - Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act
The Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act passes. It updates tobacco definitions statewide to include new products and updates youth access laws regarding sales of these products.
2012 - Twin Cities Pride
- Twin Cities Pride commits to not accepting sponsorship from tobacco companies.
- Minneapolis Parks were smoke-free, making Pride a smoke-free event.
2013 - Tobacco Tax
The Minnesota legislature votes to increase the tobacco tax by a $1.60 and equalize taxes on smokeless tobacco products.
2014 - University of Minnesota
- The University of Minnesota campuses go tobacco-free.
- Minnesota makes all foster care homes smoke-free.
- The state restricts the use of e-cigarettes in government-owned buildings, public schools, hospitals and clinics.
2015 - Restricted Sales
Minneapolis is the first city to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco, excluding menthol, sales to tobacco-only stores.
2016 - Electronic Cigarettes
- Pope and Stevens Counties each vote to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes indoors on June 21, boosting the percentage of Minnesotans who are protected to from harm to more than 50 percent of the state.
- The Housing and Urban Developement Department rules all public housing would become smoke-free by July 2018.
2017 - Minneapolis Parks
- Minneapolis Parks go 100% tobacco-free.
- Edina becomes the first city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.
- Minneapolis is the first city to restrict the sale of menthol- flavored tobacco sales to tobacco-only stores. Saint Paul (2017), Duluth (2018) and Falcon Heights (2018) followed.