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.
The St. Paul City Council approved a new ordinance Wednesday night that aims to cease the sale of cheap, single cigars. Stores have 30 days to change the price of the cigars to at least $2.10, or to start selling them in packs of 5.
A federal jury has convicted a Minnesota man of smuggling arms to Nigeria and lying on firearms purchase records. Fifty-one-year-old Sheriff Olaleran Mohammed was convicted of one count of smuggling goods from the U.S. and 17 counts of providing false statements while purchasing a firearm.
Supporters of defining electronic cigarettes in the same light as traditional tobacco products won a key round Monday in the Minnesota Legislature. By an 11-8 vote, lawmakers pushing for tough regulations on the fast-spreading devices defeated an effort to pare back their bill.
Minnesota’s new chief federal prosecutor says he’s launching initiatives to combat human trafficking, heroin, fraud, violent crime and identity theft. It’s an ambitious agenda for U.S. Attorney Andy Luger, who was sworn in Feb. 14. He filled a post last held by B. Todd Jones, who juggled dual roles for two years as both U.S. attorney in Minneapolis and acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington until the Senate finally confirmed him as director last July.
Gov. Mark Dayton has broken with his Health Department commissioner over the extent of regulation needed on electronic cigarettes. Dayton said that he is uncomfortable with legislative efforts to put e-cigarettes in the same category as conventional cigarettes when it comes to prohibition of use in public spaces.
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed former federal prosecutor Andy Luger as the next U.S. attorney for Minnesota. Luger, an experienced litigator who is now in private practice, said he expects to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the next couple of days.
CVS Caremark is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide as it focuses more on providing health care. The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1.
For years, the University of Minnesota has been doing research on tobacco and tobacco-related products. The dangers of the emerging market of electronic cigarettes is still widely unknown.
When President Barack Obama picked B. Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it looked like the moment had arrived when the beleaguered ATF would reassert itself as an agency with teeth.
Forty attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday urging the agency to meet its own deadline and regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way it regulates tobacco products.
A one-time tax on cigarette supplies has generated more than $30.4 million, most of which will be used as a backup funding stream for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The Minnesota Department of Revenue released new details Tuesday.
It’s been a month since the state’s cigarette sales tax increased by more than a dollar and-a-half a pack. That’s brought the total tax on cigarettes to more than $2.80 per pack.
In 2011, Major League Baseball and the players’ union came to an agreement: For the most part, players wouldn’t use chewing tobacco where fans can see them. So, while some players still dip, many have turned to sunflower seeds and chewing gum. Outfielder Chris Colabello estimated 70 percent of Twins players chew seeds or gum during the games.
Minnesota taxes will rise by more than $2 billion in the next two-year state budget, but who pays how much on what is still being hammered out as the Legislature speeds toward a Monday deadline for the session’s adjournment.