Friday, July 30, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Supporters of Flavored Tobacco Ban in MN Still Hopeful of Passage


Tuesday, March 17, 2020   

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A proposed flavored tobacco ban for Minnesota has seen some movement in the Legislature. While lawmakers are shifting their focus toward the coronavirus threat, supporters of the ban hope it regains momentum when normal schedules return.

The measure would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. LaTrisha Vetaw, health policy and advocacy manager at NorthPoint Health and Wellness, said finally seeing policy that addresses menthol sales hits home for her, given the impact such products have had on her family.

"There's been a lot of premature deaths, there's been a lot of illness related to tobacco. And it's still happening in my very own family," Vetaw said.

Tobacco companies have been accused of preying on communities of color with menthol products. Supporters of the ban say it also would curb teen use of vaping liquids.

Opponents say it would push them to use regular tobacco, while expanding the market for unregulated products. The ban has been advancing through House committees, but has seen little action in the Senate.

Should the bill win final approval, Vetaw acknowledged it could be a challenging transition for communities that have long been targeted by tobacco companies. But she said cutting off access definitely will work in the long run.

"Just like my nieces and nephews don't understand me talking about smoking in bars and restaurants, there'll be a generation of kids who don't grow up seeing tobacco products all over their corner stores," she said.

The ban is one of several tobacco-control measures recently debated at the Minnesota Capitol.

Disclosure: American Heart Association of Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Social Issues

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- With many Virginians still experiencing pandemic-related unemployment, students at a state community college were able to get …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021