PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 18, 2021 


President Biden just signed a law declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday; and the first tropical storm system is forecast to make landfall in U.S. by end of the week.


2021Talks - June 18, 2021 


The U.S. marks a new national holiday; Republicans reject Sen. Joe Manchin's election reform compromise; and U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare but strikes a blow to equal rights.

Despite Federal Move, MN Groups Still Want State Menthol Ban

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Tobacco control groups say even though a flavored tobacco ban didn't pass this session, lawmakers still could help end racial disparities caused by menthol products by passing prevention funding. (Adobe Stock)
Tobacco control groups say even though a flavored tobacco ban didn't pass this session, lawmakers still could help end racial disparities caused by menthol products by passing prevention funding. (Adobe Stock)
 By Mike Moen - Producer, Contact
May 20, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Food and Drug Administration is exploring a ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes, a move tobacco-control advocates say is long overdue. They argued it shouldn't stop similar efforts in states such as Minnesota.

Supporters of the recently announced federal action acknowledged rules could take years to develop while facing expected lawsuits from the tobacco industry, which is why they want approval of a statewide bill to ban all flavored tobacco sales. Many municipalities in Minnesota have adopted their own bans.

LaTrisha Vetaw, health policy and advocacy manager at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, said the crackdown on menthol products in Minneapolis has helped, but the industry has tried to work around it.

"A corner store can no longer sell menthol or flavored tobacco products," Vetaw explained. "But now, they've put in four clear walls inside of these stores and are calling it a tobacco shop within a corner store."

Vetaw and others calling for higher-level bans contended they would help end heavy marketing of menthol products in Black communities. Opponents, including retailers, countered a ban could have unintended consequences, including the creation of more underground markets.

The proposed state ban has seen activity in recent legislative sessions, but hasn't been able to clear all the necessary hurdles.

Republican lawmakers who are skeptical of a statewide ban said it sends mixed messages amid a push for marijuana legalization. But tobacco prevention groups, not part of the legalization effort, pointed out there are a range of health effects from smoking that need to be addressed.

Laura Smith, spokesperson for ClearWay Minnesota and Minnesotans for a Smoke Free Generation, emphasized the need to press forward.

"That's why we're continuing to work statewide and on the local level to get these life-saving policies passed, because we know they can a make a big difference towards reducing these tobacco addictions and easing disparities that many people face, especially Black Americans."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 93% of Black adults who smoke started by using menthol cigarettes.

Aside from bans, the groups say the state needs to stay committed to funding prevention efforts. Various budget proposals this spring included higher totals, with money for health equity in prevention work, but advocates stressed it still needs to be part of the final spending plan.

Best Practices