Decreasing Tobacco Use and Exposure

Tobacco use in Minnesota is still a big problem. Currently, 16% of the state’s population (625,000 people) still smoke, and this year 77,000 kids will use tobacco. Smoking costs Minnesota $3 billion in excess health care costs annually. PartnerSHIP 4 Health is working to decrease tobacco use and exposure through policy, systems, and environmental changes in the following areas:

  • Smoke-free Multi-unit Housing: Smoke-free apartment buildings are not always available to every renter. PartnerSHIP 4 Health works with renters, landlords and building owners on the process of going smoke-free.
  • Tobacco-Free Post-Secondary Campuses: Tobacco-free campus policies promote a healthier environment for students, staff, and visitors. PartnerSHIP 4 Health is available to help campuses move through the process of going tobacco-free and work to connect students, staff, and faculty to cessation services.
  • Decreasing Youth Access to Tobacco: Tobacco use among youth is still a problem in Minnesota, and one of the best practices shown to decrease youth access to tobacco is having strong local tobacco policies and ordinances around tobacco point of sale. PartnerSHIP 4 Health is working with cities and counties to update their Tobacco Sales Ordinances, make sure compliance checks are completed, and assess tobacco advertisements inside and outside of tobacco retailers within the four counties. We support:
    • Tobacco 21: Raising the age to purchase tobacco products has been proven to reduce youth access to tobacco and to increase quit attempts by current smokers.
    • Restricting Flavored Tobacco Products: Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products protects kids and creates a healthier future.
    • Price: Keeping tobacco prices high is the most effective way to prevent kids from becoming addicted to tobacco products. 
  • Smoke-free Foster Homes & Daycares: Foster children are a uniquely vulnerable population. Approximately 80% of foster children in the US have at least one chronic medical condition, and respiratory illness is highly common. PartnerSHIP 4 Health is working to have smoke-free foster home and daycare policies passed in the four counties.
  • E-Cigarettes: E-Cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular. With thousands of flavors available, these devices are highly attractive to youth. E-cigarettes, or other devices for “vaping,” come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This makes them very difficult to recognize by the untrained eye. What can be done about e-cigarettes?

Patrick Hollister

Active Living Planner