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Mendota Heights restricts sale of flavored tobacco

May 19, 2018

Mendota Heights became the latest Minnesota city to take strong steps to protect its youth and residents when it unanimously voted on May 15, 2018, to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco, excluding menthol. Mendota Heights is the second city in two weeks – and eighth overall in Minnesota – to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products.

“This is the right thing to do,” council member Jay Miller said. “We have the opportunity to stop this before children ever start. Nothing is fool-proof, but a decision tonight can go a long way. I’m excited for this and excited to see where we are. Added council member Joel Paper, “I’m a council member because I wanted to help my family and friends. This is something impactful that will help my family, friends and the community.”

 

For the first time in 17 years, the youth tobacco usage rate increased, according to the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. Much of the increase has been attributed to increased use of e-cigarettes and cheap cigars, which come in a wide array of kid-friendly flavors.

Youth from the ALMAS (Anglos Latinos Motivated to Succeed) group at Henry Sibley High, as well as their group leader, Robert Hansen, spoke on behalf of the ordinance. “The ALMAS have been working on tobacco prevention for 10 years,” Hansen said. “We’ve worked on passing policies in Saint Paul and West Saint Paul, but now we’re home, and this is going to seriously affect what’s going on in our district. We give a lot of thanks to the Mendota Heights City Council for bringing this forward, especially Joel Paper, who brought it to the council.”

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