By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Proposals to ban all flavored vaping products and ban all sales of tobacco and e-Cigarettes moved forward at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

While the federal government has regulations in place on both issues, state laws in this area are the ones that count.

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The hearing to ban all flavored vaping products was packed, with supporters pointing to the Minnesota student vaping survey that found one in four 11th graders vape regularly, and 1 in 10 eighth graders.

The proposed ban on flavored vapes is especially controversial, with Minnesota vape shops across the state saying it would put them out of business.

There is a separate bill that would ban all vaping and regular tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21. Republican Senator Carla Nelson is the author of the bill.

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While the federal government and 63 Minnesota communities already have laws in pace that ban sales to those under 21, children under 21 can still purchase these products in the Minnesota communities that don’t have these bans.

The proposal to ban all vape and tobacco sales to those under 21 has wide bipartisan support. However, it’s less clear if Republicans would back the all-out ban on flavored products.

In the coming weeks, both bills will be getting hearing in Minnesota House and Senate.

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Gov. Tim Walz supports both bills.

Esme Murphy