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TFA in the News

News and stories of TFA and its partners' work.

On March 5, 2024, Tobacco-Free Alliance joined the Minnesotans for a Smoke Free Generation, and hundreds of other students to advocate for a bill that would end the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state of Minnesota.  

On November 6th, 2023, Eagan High School's TFS student group presented to the Mayor and Eagan City Council to petition to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products.

Elyse Levine Less, Executive Director of the Tobacco-Free Alliance speaks on how lawsuits from Minnesota have brought awareness to the issue of teen vaping and vaping products. 

Katy Johnson, a student from the University of Minnesota and a Tobacco-Free Alliance employee comments on the normalization of vaping among youth and how flavored vape products increase usage among youth.

Surge in Lung Illnesses Amongst Teens Due to Vaping Rates

Tobacco-Free Alliance's Melissa Mady comments on how vaping can impact the brain and mental health of teens. 

Tobacco-Free Alliance's Elyse Levine Less comments on how Minnesota teens underestimate the risk of nicotine addiction.

TFA’s Executive Director, Elyse Less, chatted with RE@L about TFA’s youth tobacco prevention work. Check out the full blod post

Eagan joins the movement to raise the tobacco sales age to 21, passing the Tobacco 21 ordinance with unanimous support on May 7, 2020. Residents express gratitude to the Eagan City Council for its commitment to the city and for holding tobacco retailers accountable, aiming to protect youth from accessing harmful products. Amidst a rising epidemic of e-cigarette use among Minnesota's teens, communities are taking local action, responding to alarming survey results that reveal a 54 percent increase in 11th graders vaping in the past 30 days since 2016. Eagan residents, including a pediatrician and a 7th-grade student, commend the council's dedication to keeping youth safe and healthy through this preventative measure.

In 2018, the Mendota Heights City Council took proactive measures to safeguard youth from tobacco-related harms by unanimously raising the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 and extending flavored tobacco restrictions to include menthol. Council members emphasized the urgent need to address the rampant issue, with the discreet nature of modern tobacco products being a growing concern. The decision, supported by 60 community members, including students, advocates, and a physician, garnered praise for its dedication to protecting youth. The move comes in response to alarming national and state-level statistics, including a 50 percent increase in youth e-cigarette use in Minnesota over the past three years, highlighting the importance of preventing addiction through the raised age limit.

The Tobacco-Free Alliance is empowering youth to protect their communities from the harms of commercial tobacco.

Sahan Journal's Exclusive Interview with TFA’s Tobacco-Free Society students about their tobacco prevention advocacy work 

Students of Eagan High School's student group Tobacco-Free Society share their experiences and advocacy in tobacco prevention.

Elyse Levine Less, Executive Director of the Tobacco-Free Alliance speaks on how lawsuits from Minnesota have brought awareness to the issue of teen vaping and vaping products. 

Elyse Levine Less and Melissa Mady showcase the Tobacco-Free Alliance's tobacco prevention work with youth through the utilization of advocacy, public policy, and youth empowerment. These projects were made possible by the Minnesota Department of Health's Tobacco-Free Communities Grant.

The Biden Administration's decision to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars is praised by the Tobacco-Free Alliance for addressing health disparities, especially among Black Minnesotans. Menthol, a major tobacco industry flavor, has disproportionately affected BIPOC communities, the LGBTQ community, and youth. Urging immediate action, the TFA calls on state and local leaders to cease the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products. The FDA's announcement triggers a year-long rule-making process, emphasizing the need for strong policies to combat tobacco's impact on marginalized groups.

Communities in Minnesota are taking action to protect youth from the rising epidemic of e-cigarette use, with Hastings becoming the latest city to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 on March 2, 2020. This move follows Lakeville, which adopted the measure less than an hour earlier, marking the 67th community in the state to implement this safeguard. Council Member Lori Braucks highlights the concerning impact on young people, describing the advertising tactics as predatory and emphasizing the need to counter the surge in teen vaping. As e-cigarette use continues to increase among youth, residents and high school students testify about the importance of this ordinance in preventing access and addressing addiction, signaling a commitment to prioritizing health over tobacco industry profits.

Mendota Heights takes a significant step to protect its youth and residents as it becomes the eighth city in Minnesota to unanimously vote for restrictions on flavored tobacco sales, excluding menthol, on May 15, 2018. Council members Jay Miller and Joel Paper express enthusiasm for the decision, emphasizing its potential to prevent youth from starting tobacco use. The move follows a statewide trend aimed at curbing the increased usage of e-cigarettes and cheap cigars with kid-friendly flavors. The ALMAS group from Henry Sibley High School, dedicated to tobacco prevention for a decade, commends the city council for their impactful decision, signaling a positive shift in the local approach to youth health.

The Tobacco-Free Alliance's board president, Warren Ortland encourages Minneapolis and St. Paul to take the lead by establishing a tobacco-free standard in professional ballparks, aligning with Tuttle's legacy and the Alliance's mission to promote tobacco-free environments in his letter to the editor.

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