MN House Panel Advances Flavored Tobacco Ban
Thursday, February 18, 2021
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A proposal to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Minnesota has resurfaced in the Legislature.
House Bill 904, which cleared a House committee Wednesday, comes with renewed backing of those wanting to address health disparities across the state.
The measure would prohibit retailers from selling flavored tobacco and related products, including menthol cigarettes.
Rep. Cedrick Frazier, DFL-New Hope, the bill's sponsor, said now is the time to restrict items that have been heavily marketed in communities of color.
"Let's put the health of our kids and the health of our Black brothers and sisters ahead of Big Tobacco profits," Frazier urged.
Supporters also said the move would address the dangers of vaping among teens and young adults.
At this week's hearing, there was opposition from those representing retailers, who say the ban would push buyers into other states while creating a dangerous underground market.
Laura Smith, spokesperson for the nonprofit group ClearWay Minnesota and Minnesotans for a Smoke Free Generation, countered in light of last year's racial reckoning and the pandemic, there's more urgency to address health disparities facing marginalized communities, and reducing tobacco dependency would be a big help.
"We think that should be a huge impetus for getting this done this session," Smith asserted.
Late last year, the Minnesota House Select Committee on Racial Justice recommended action as part of a broader effort to eliminate disparities.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Minnesota cities have enacted their own restrictions for selling flavored tobacco.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …
Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …
Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …
Health and Wellness
A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…
A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…
The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …
An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …
In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …