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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Minnesota. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Minnesota’s elected officials:

  1. Eliminate the sale of all flavored commercial tobacco products;
  2. Raise the tax on all commercial tobacco products; and
  3. Protect and close remaining loopholes in the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act.
The 2023 Minnesota Legislative Session delivered major wins for tobacco prevention and treatment. The American Lung Association – as part of the Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation statewide coalition of more than 50 organizations helped to pass two significant provisions within the Health and Human Services Budget bill.

A strong victory was realized in the bill’s language to dedicate Minnesota’s landmark $60.5 settlement with Juul and Altria and any potential future settlement to tobacco prevention to prevent youth commercial tobacco addiction. Minnesota’s first-in-the-nation trial held Juul Labs as well as Altria (formerly known as Philip Morris) accountable for deceiving consumers and illegally targeting youth.

The bill also provided support for Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and MinnesotaCare enrollees that are trying to quit smoking, vaping or smokeless tobacco by expanding the type of health care professionals that can be reimbursed to provide treatment and eliminating barriers to FDA-approved medications to treat tobacco addiction.

Also, during the 2023 legislative session efforts continued to advance legislation to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, with bipartisan legislation (Senate File 2123/House File 2177) introduced and passing the Senate Health and Human Services committee. Although the legislature failed to enact a statewide measure, progress continued at the local level with policies currently covering 25.2% of Minnesotans.

Polling done by Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation in early 2023 showed that 70% of residents are concerned about vaping, smoking and other tobacco use among Minnesota youth. The survey also found that Minnesota residents support ending the sale of flavored tobacco products by a 62% to 32% margin, with strong support across political and demographic lines.

The American Lung Association in Minnesota will continue to work together with coalition partners in 2024 as part of the Smoke Free Generation coalition to eliminate access to all flavored commercial tobacco products and finish this major piece of legislation.

Minnesota Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $2,519,011,064
Adult Smoking Rate: 13.00%
High School Smoking Rate: 3.60%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 14.90%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 1.70%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 5,910
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school (11th grade only) smoking and tobacco use, and middle school (8th grade only) smoking rates are taken from the 2022 Minnesota Student Survey.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Minnesota Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

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