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Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Statewide Bill Tracker
Minnesota has an above national average rate of high school smoking and adult smoking. An estimated 102,000 children now under the age of 18 will die prematurely due to smoking, with 2,500 children becoming daily smokers each year. The high school student’s e-cigarette usage rate is 19.2%; driving up Minnesota’s overall youth tobacco use rates.
The state is currently spending 43% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, and recently increased its cigarette tax to $3.04 a pack. While their progress is encouraging, the numbers still show that health care costs due to smoking are $2.51 billion annually, with another $1.54 billion in lost productivity.
There is no preemption language present in state law keeping localities from raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age (MLSA) to 21. Local governments are free to enact ordinances to better protect their kids from addiction. It has been our experience that the most powerful incentive for the state legislature to act is the initiative of local citizens and governmental leaders. Statewide, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, and Hawaii’s laws all began at the local level where powerful tobacco industry lobbyists have little sway. Local champions have largely driven this movement in non-preempted states. Constituents are an impetus for change at the community and statewide levels.
For More Information, Please Contact:
- Ginny Chadwick
- Tobacco 21
- Western Regional Director
- Katherine Ungar
- Tobacco 21
- Executive Director
- Jodi Radke
- Tobacco Free Kids
- Director, Rocky Mountain / Great Plains Region