While a new survey shows tobacco use by Minnesota high school students has declined in recent years, state health officials are concerned about the rising number of young people using electronic cigarettes. The state’s latest survey on youth tobacco use released Monday found one in in eight high school students used e-cigarettes recently.
Minnesota health officials are planning to release results of the state’s first-ever survey on the use of e-cigarettes among students in middle and high school.
The Minneapolis Park Board is looking at snuffing out smoking in all city parks. Currently, people are allowed to smoke in designated areas, a hundred feet away from playgrounds, pools and beaches.
A new study is looking into whether or not e-cigarettes are an effective way to stop, or cut back on smoking as many smokers turn to them as an alternative. Electronic cigarettes turn a liquid solution into a vapor, and some contain nicotine.
A plan to classify electronic cigarettes in the same fashion as the conventional kind survived its toughest committee test Monday and now awaits a Senate floor vote. The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee after an attempt to weaken the proposed regulations failed on a 7-6 vote. It would add so-called vaping to state indoor air laws that bar tobacco use in public places and most businesses.
A Minnesota legislator is now proposing a bill that would put e-cigarettes across under the same state-wide restrictions as cigarettes. The bill from DFL State Rep. Phyllis Kahn would limit the use of e-cigarettes under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Act.
Minnesota’s new $1.60-per-pack sales tax increase on cigarettes begins next week. Meanwhile, retailers are betting smokers will try to switch to a tobacco product not subject to the state’s tobacco taxes: electronic cigarettes.