The Ramsey Tobacco Coalition (RTC) has been working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in Ramsey County since 1997. RTC has been a leader in reducing youth access to tobacco, enforcing tobacco-free school ground policies, adopting tobacco-free park policies, adopting tobacco-free policies for youth clubs and youth-serving agencies, and adopting smoke-free workplace laws and point-of-sale ordinances in Ramsey County and St. Paul.

RTC’s Focus

RTC is comprised of 23 active partner organizations and is working to reduce youth exposure to tobacco influences at the point of sale.

The focus of the project is to reduce the tobacco marketing and advertising practices by:

  • Identifying the level and types of tobacco influences in our area
  • Comparing the influences in inner city neighborhoods with those in suburban communities, and low income neighborhoods with middle and upper income neighborhoods within the city
  • Identifying any ways in which these industry influences may violate the legal restrictions created by local, state, and national laws, and legal settlements.

RTC is assessing and advocating for change in the following areas:

  • Point-of-sale advertising (in-store signs, promotions, outdoor signs, branded store fixtures and paraphernalia, etc.)
  • Promotional and sales practices designed to target youth (self-service displays, power walls, loosies, candy flavored tobacco, placement at children’s eye level, etc.)
Reducing the Influence of Tobacco

We believe the tobacco industry uses all of these tactics to normalize tobacco use and influence youth by shaping the environment in which they live, and that these influences are specifically tailored to reach low socioeconomic status, Latino/Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Caucasian youth.

The project uses our research findings to advocate for changes in industry behavior, enforcement of legal restrictions and, where possible and appropriate, policy change to reduce tobacco industry influences at the point of sale.

Tobacco-Free Funding Policies

Ramsey Tobacco Coalition’s “How-To” Guide for Adopting a Policy

Tobacco-Free Funding policies are an important way for organizations to protect their image and take a stand against the tobacco industry. The Ramsey Tobacco Coalition has a developed a guide for working with nonprofit organizations as they think about and plan for adopting a policy.

Tobacco-Free Funding Part 1, which is all about planning for a tobacco-free policy.

Tobacco-Free Funding Part 2, which will helps make a case for a tobacco-free policy with a nonprofit organization.

Tobacco-Free Funding Part 3, which will provide many supporting documents, such as a sample tobacco-free policy.



Anglos Latinos Motivados a Superarse (ALMAS) is a group of High School Students from Henry Sibley High School in
Mendota Heights dedicated to serving the community and promoting the health of the community. The mission of ALMAS is to establish and maintain trust in the Latino community, foster better communication between the school and Latino parents, offer opportunity to progress and provide help when necessary, create and foster Latino pride, create and support an environment of equality and unity, increase extra-curricular and co-curricular participation, and increase post-secondary participation


Vision in Living Life – Change is Possible (V.I.L.L.) is a youth leadership program that engages Saint Paul youth in activities that allow them to experience growth from within. V.I.L.L. is a program of Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation and is led by Damone Presley. The goal of the program is to involve youth in a range of activities and educational opportunities that promote and support their passage to being healthy, responsible and law-abiding citizens. The program also strives to show the community that youth are an asset and can bring about positive change. The youth are equipped with the tools they need to succeed, such as self-confidence, leadership and communication skills. Through community service, the group learns the importance of connection in the community.


School District 622 is comprised of two high schools, Tartan High and North Senior High, as well as three middles schools, Maplewood, Skyview and John Glenn, that work with the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition to reduce the harms of tobacco within the schools. Students from John Glenn’s Support Our School (SOS) group participated in Red Ribbon Week in October, 2017. It marked the fourth consecutive year the students participated in the event.


The Minneapolis Chapter of Men Against Destruction – Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder (MAD DADS) seeks to bring about positive change, and encourages, motivates and guides committed men and women in the struggle to save children, communities and themselves from the social ills that presently plague neighborhoods. MAD DADS employ strategies to engage parents in the intervention and prevention of community problems, and is designed to attract, challenge, and prepare them to be vocal, visible, and vigilant in restoring safe communities and healthy families. MAD DADS is committed to reducing tobacco use in the community by helping people quit and preventing young people from getting addicted.