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St Paul (KROC AM News) - This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association gives Minnesota mixed grades.

The annual report from the ALA grades federal and state efforts to reduce tobacco use and calls for policies it says will prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives. The ALA says tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, claiming nearly half a million lives a year.

The 19th annual report released Wednesday includes an emphasis from the Minnesota chapter of the ALA on increasing efforts to prevent children from using tobacco and/or vaping products, especially flavored varieties.

  • Minnesota’s Grades
  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade A
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade B
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade B
  • Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products - Grade F

“In Minnesota, our tobacco use rates for high school are an unacceptable 28%. The surge in youth vaping combined with the fact that smoking increases the chance of severe COVID-19 symptoms, make it more important than ever for Minnesota to implement the proven measures outlined in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” said American Lung Association Senior Director, Pat McKone.

The ALA says, “The need for Minnesota to take action to protect youth from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is more urgent than ever, with the youth vaping epidemic continuing. With 1 in 5 teens vaping, our children are becoming the next generation addicted to tobacco. Youth vaping and tobacco use overall is largely driven by flavored tobacco products, and our 19th annual report has added a new state grade calling for policies to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes and flavored cigars.”

 

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