News Archives

Democratic senators calling for ban on menthol cigarettes

Democratic senators urge FDA- More than a dozen Democratic U.S. senators said the FDA needs to follow through after pleding last month to try to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also pledged to work to tighten rules governing the sale of most flavored versions of electronic cigarettes.

In a letter dated December 20, 2018 (downloadable via pdf link below) the senators urged Gottlieb to finalize the regulations quickly.



Waseca latest city to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Tuesday night, Waseca city council members voted to raise the city’s tobacco sales age to 21.

“I started smoking when I was 13 years old; I had no support back then,” Waseca Council Member Daren Arndt said Tuesday. “I stopped smoking 25 years ago, but I wish I’d never started. Tobacco 21 is all about supporting our young people and leading our community and state to a healthier tomorrow.”

The vote in Waseca Tuesday followed on the heels of the U.S. surgeon general’s calling for urgent action in response to a surge in e-cigarette use among teens.

The surgeon general reported new federal data shows e-cigarette use among American youth is rising at an alarming rate.

“Minnesota leaders should do more to combat the epidemic of youth nicotine addiction,” Molly Moilanen, vice president at ClearWay Minnesota and co-chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, said in a statement. “Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a common sense way to keep addictive tobacco products away from kids and prevent young people from ever starting.”

Surgeon General Warns Youth Vaping Is Now An ‘Epidemic’

“Vaping by U.S. teenagers has reached epidemic levels, threatening to hook a new generation of young people on nicotine.

That’s according to an unusual advisory issued Tuesday U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams about the the dangers of electronic cigarette use among U.S. teenagers.

“I am officially declaring e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic in the United States,” Adams said at a news conference. “Now is the time to take action. We need to protect our young people from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

The surgeon general’s advisory called on parents and teachers to educate themselves about the variety of e-cigarettes and to talk with children about their dangers. Health professionals should ask about e-cigarettes when screening patients for tobacco use, the advisory said. And local authorities should use strategies, such as bans on indoor vaping and retail restrictions, to discourage vaping by young people.

The advisory was prompted by the latest statistics on vaping among youth, which found e-cigarette use among high school students has increased dramatically in the past year.

“We have never seen use of any substance by America’s young people rise this rapidly,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the briefing. “This is an unprecedented challenge.”

Federal officials singled out JUUL electronic cigarettes for fueling the epidemic, noting that the sleek devices are by far the most popular electronic cigarettes among young people.

The company defended its products, saying it has taken steps to prevent young people from using them. For example, the company has stopped distributing some flavorings to retail stores and has taken other steps to make sure young people don’t buy the devices online.”

Cincinnati raises minimum age to buy tobacco to 21

In a 5-3 vote, Cincinnati City Council voted to increase the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vape products, to 21.  One Councilmember was absent.  Tamaya Dennard, the councilmember who sponsored the legislation, made clear that this ordinance would not criminalize 18-20 year olds for smoking or obtaining tobacco products.  “The disease and illness that smoking causes are 100 percent preventable.  Without a doubt, this ordinance will help curb the rate of unnecessary and preventable health issues in our area,” said Dennard.

Lake Zurich raises age of tobacco sales to 21

“The village of Lake Zurich became the 28th municipality in the state to raise the age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21 Monday night.

The village board unanimously approved the plan, which was endorsed by the Lake Zurich School District 95 and is designed to prevent young people from smoking or vaping.

Trustee Jonathan Sprawka said he learned a lot from an event on teen vaping hosted by the school district and the Ela Coalition Against Youth Substance Abuse last week.

“(It was) definitely helpful as a parent with kids who are becoming teenagers and will face these sort of choices as they go through high school and even middle school,” Sprawka said.

Sprawka said from his perspective, vape shops don’t fit into the fiber of the community.

The question of raising the tobacco age was first brought up at the board level on Nov. 19. At that meeting, the board also discussed implementing a one-year moratorium on new vape shops in the village so they could devise new rules for regulating them.

The vote would not have needed to happen if a statewide bill to raise the tobacco age had passed in Springfield last week. On Thursday, the last day of the fall session, state lawmakers came nine votes short of overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the bill.

Trustee Marc Spacone said he hopes the legislature will take up the issue after new members and the new governor is sworn in.

“In the meantime, we’re doing our little bit that we can locally,” Spacone said.

Trustee John Shaw noted that some local representatives did not vote in favor of overturning Rauner’s veto last week.

“I think out state legislators need to get on board with what’s happening in the local community,” Shaw said.

The village’s ordinance also makes it illegal for those under 21 to possess tobacco products.

The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1.”