St. Paul, MN - Today, the House Preventive Health Policy Division heard testimony on House File 904, which would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products in Minnesota. The legislation, authored by Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL - New Hope), advanced on a party-line vote of 7-4 to the Health Finance and Policy Committee.
“Protecting the health of Minnesotans has always been a top priority, and this is another opportunity to uphold that promise by getting flavored tobacco out of our communities,” said Rep. Frazier. “As a father of three, I take great pride in leading this bill to make sure addiction isn’t sold in candy form to our children. Minnesota youth is off-limits to the tobacco industry.”
The prohibition includes products flavored as candy, fruit, mint, and menthol, and applies to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah. In Minnesota, 21 communities in the state currently have similar prohibitions, and while the legislation would end the sale of these products, it does not punish their use.
“Flavored tobacco products, especially in e-cigarettes, threaten to completely undo decades of effort to effectively reduce the rates of tobacco use among Minnesota’s youth,” said Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL - Golden Valley), chair of the division. “With the current pandemic highlighting the importance of prioritizing respiratory health, this legislation better positions our state to curb tobacco addiction for children and targeted communities, and strives for a healthier Minnesota.”