Big Tobacco gets sneaky with new products

The school year is in full swing and Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is warning parents that Big Tobacco may be in your kids’ backpacks. “Today’s tobacco products are designed by the industry to look like everyday items like candy and school supplies,” said Molly Moilanen, Director of Public Affairs at ClearWay Minnesota and Co-Chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation. “Through stealthy designs, high nicotine content, aggressive advertising and candy flavors, this generation of tobacco products threatens our progress to reduce teen smoking.

The MN Dept. of Health issued a new advisory on youth nicotine addiction, calling it a “major health concern.” More than 26 percent of high school students reported using tobacco products in the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco survey. The tobacco rate increased for the first time since the survey began in 2000, and is up seven percent since 2014.