Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

House lawmaker wants any funds awarded in MN vape lawsuit to pay for tobacco prevention, treatment efforts

Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs has a $438.5 million settlement with 34 states.

Minnesota is not among them.

Instead, the state will take Juul Labs and Altria to trial later this March.

Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL-St. Paul) wants to use any money received from this legal action to fund a tobacco use prevention account. She sponsors HF2422 to do just that.

More specifically, state litigation involving alleged violations of laws for electronic nicotine delivery systems, or any act that contributes to youth nicotine use, would fund the newly created account.

House Health Finance and Policy Committee considers HF2422 3/9/23

The House Health Finance and Policy Committee laid the bill over Thursday for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.

With potential annual appropriations from the account, supporters say the Department of Health could operate tobacco and electronic delivery use prevention and cessation projects and activities statewide, including promotional and educational materials and a public information program that promotes nonsmoking.

“JUUL developed sleek-looking products with menthol and candy flavors designed to appeal to kids with sky-high nicotine levels to addict users,” Her said. “Each JUUL pod contains more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.”

Minnesota sued the tobacco industry in the 1990s, but only some of the subsequent funds went to anti-tobacco efforts.

Within the past year the state has collected nearly $800 million in tobacco taxes and settlement fees, Her said, but less than 1.5%, or $11.7 million, was spent on tobacco prevention and treatment.

Elyse Levine Less, executive director of Tobacco-Free Alliance, said cigarette smoking rates are at the lowest rate ever, but youth are still getting their nicotine fix.

“Thanks to JUUL and its targeted marketing to young people, its compact and easy-to-conceal design and its formulation to smoothly inhale high amounts of nicotine, we didn’t really get rid of the youth tobacco problem. It has instead morphed into a youth e-cigarette vaping problem of epidemic proportions, which started when JUUL came on the market.”

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

House passes tax package that includes rebate checks, $1 billion in new revenues
Rep. Aisha Gomez and House Majority Leader Jamie Long talk during a break in the May 20 debate on HF1938, the tax finance and policy bill. (Photo by Catherine Davis) Is it the largest tax cut in Minnesota history? Or the biggest tax hike the state has ever experienced? Could it be both? That’s the crux of the debate about the conference ...
House passes finalized cannabis legalization bill, sends it to Senate
A supporter of cannabis legalization demonstrates in front of the Capitol in 2021. The House repassed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis, as amended in conference committee, May 18 and sent HF100 to the Senate. (House Photography file photo) The House gave the green light to adult-use recreational cannabis Thursday. “The day has finally arrived. Today is the day that we are going to vote here in the House for th...

Minnesota House on Twitter