Several communities in Minnesota have already passed local Tobacco 21 ordinances and a bill that would raise the legal tobacco age statewide is making its way through the legislature.

State Representative Laurie Halverson of Eagan said the makers of e-cigarrettes and other vaping products continue to prey on youth and, “Our progress to reduce tobacco use is now slipping; in 2017 our youth tobacco rates went up for the first time in a generation. Youth are now using tobacco products like Juul that are flavored, easy to hide and contain incredibly high levels of nicotine.”

Danette Seboe is principal at Duluth East High School and explained, “After being caught using in school, many of our students say they know it’s bad but they’re so addicted they can’t go the hours of the school day without using. They tell us they don’ know how to quit.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported just this week that from 2017 to 2018 the number of teen tobacco users linked directly to e-cigarettes increased by 1.3 million and 63-percent in teens that used Juul smoking devices but did not realize they contained nicotine.