Tobacco prevention heating up at the State Capitol

Physicians, advocates, educators, and local officials from across the state recently joined legislative champions to testify in support of three bills to tackle tobacco addiction. The bipartisan bills will help Minnesota save lives and money by strengthening the state's clean indoor air law, providing quit-smoking help for all residents, and raising the tobacco age to 21.

All three bills advanced without opposition out of the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee (chaired by Rep. Rena Moran). 

Tobacco 21: Raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will help reduce youth tobacco use and save lives. To date, 23 Minnesota cities and counties have adopted Tobacco 21 policies. Passing a statewide bill would have a profound effect on health, reducing smoking among 15 to 17-year-olds by an estimated 25 percent. Voice your support by sending a digital postcard to your elected officials.

Smoking Cessation Funding: QUITPLAN Services, the state’s fee quit-smoking helpline, is ending in 2020. Lawmakers must fund quit-smoking resources this year so there is no gap in help for Minnesotans who are trying to quit tobacco. If Minnesota does not fund a statewide service, it will become the only state in the nation not providing one. 

Keeping Indoor Air Clean: Minnesotans expect and deserve clean indoor air! This bill expands the definition of smoking to ensure Minnesota’s smoke-free indoor air law covers the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited. Several local Minnesota communities have passed these policies, but Minnesota does not have a comprehensive statewide law.