Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As many of you know, I’m a passionate tobacco prevention advocate. Before elected to the Minnesota House, I was involved in Edina’s effort to become the first city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Once elected to the House, I became the chief author of the statewide Tobacco 21 bill, which passed the legislature this session.
I’m happy to report that once again, Edina is a leader in protecting youth from the harms of tobacco as the city council had its first reading on Tuesday, June 2nd, to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Edina. The Edina Community Health Commission submitted a proposal recommending the council move forward with this initiative.
Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products, along with Tobacco 21, is a 1-2 punch to the tobacco industry. While T21 limits youth access to these products, banning flavors reduces the appeal to youth.
Flavored tobacco is a major initiation point for youth. Seven out of 10 middle and high school students who use tobacco have tried flavors, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Menthol is a top flavor of choice. Additionally, there is a youth vaping epidemic. Flavored e-cigarettes are a huge draw for youth with more than 15,000 flavors available. Per the CDC, 64 percent of youth who use e-cigarettes have used flavored e-cigarettes.
Please take a moment today to send a quick message to our city council members telling them you support this initiative. I’ve provided a sample below:
Council member names and emails:
Ron Anderson: RAnderson@edinamn.gov
Mary Brindle: MBrindle@edinamn.gov
Mike Fischer: MFischer@edinamn.gov
Mayor Jim Hovland: JHovland@edinamn.gov
Kevin Staunton: KStaunton@edinamn.gov
Sample email / Add your personal point of view:
Dear Mayor Hovland and Edina City Council Members,
I was excited to learn that once again our community is leading the way on reducing youth tobacco use. I fully support the proposal to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Edina. As youth vaping rates continue to increase, we can and must do more. Can I count on you to vote in favor of this lifesaving policy? Thank you.
City Council Meeting: Tuesday, June 16, 7 p.m.
If you would like to watch the proceedings, they will be live on Edina TV (Comcast channels 813 or 16), Facebook.com/EdinaMN or EdinaMN.gov/LiveMeetings.
ALSO: If you'd like your email included in the official council packet, submit it here: https://edinadocs.edinamn.gov/Forms/contact
Thank you for your commitment to reducing tobacco’s harm.