Proper now our state is dealing with concurrent well being crises together with the COVID-19 pandemic and the epidemic of racism and youth tobacco use.
These well being issues share a typical thread: Large Tobacco. For many years, the tobacco business has focused Black, American Indian, LGBTQ communities and our youngsters to develop their earnings. And we’re struggling their harms in the present day.
Due to investments in organizations like ClearWay Minnesota, our state has made historic progress to scale back smoking and tackle business tobacco’s hurt. Sadly, attributable to systemic boundaries and the business’s efforts to maintain people who smoke addicted and hook youngsters, big disparities stay. American Indians smoke at 4 occasions the speed of the inhabitants as a complete, and 85% of Black people who smoke choose menthols, in comparison with 29% of white people who smoke.
Only a few months in the past, the Minnesota Division of Well being launched the 2020 Youth Tobacco Survey which discovered that 20% of Minnesota high-schoolers reported utilizing e-cigarettes throughout the previous 30 days. To make issues worse, 70% of youth e-cigarette customers reported indicators of dependence.
We will’t sit idly by as Large Tobacco continues to hurt our state. Investing simply two or three cents of each greenback of tobacco income would enable Minnesota to have efficient prevention and remedy packages. Minnesota ought to make these investments in 2021.
I need to thank my lawmakers, Rep. Patty Acomb and Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, and different legislative leaders for supporting efforts to put money into lifesaving tobacco prevention. Let’s proceed to place our youngsters, our well being and Minnesota communities forward of tobacco business earnings.
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