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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

Minnesota Passes New Legislation to Protect Youth

Wednesday, May 12, 2010  
Dear Friends and Coworkers:

I am pleased to announce that yesterday, May 11th, Governor Pawlenty signed the Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act into law. The legislation passed by overwhelming bi-partisan majorities in both the House and the Senate on its way to Governor Pawlenty. Needless to say, this is a significant achievement in today’s heated political climate. The law takes effect on August 1, 2010.

Specifically, the Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act of 2010:
  • Ensures that the new dissolvable tobacco products that are candy flavored and resemble mints and breath strips are taxed and regulated as tobacco.
  • Requires all tobacco products and tobacco-related devices to be sold behind the counter reducing youth access.
  • Prevents the sale of new tobacco products and e-cigarettes to youth.
While the Tobacco Compliance and Modernization Act of 2010 is a terrific first step in protecting children from a new generation of tobacco products, more needs to be done. As we know, price is the most important factor in preventing children from using tobacco and in helping current tobacco users quit. That is why ClearWay Minnesota and our coalition of state and local partners will be building upon the success of this year’s effort to aggressively pursue a significant tobacco tax increase next session.

Legislative victories like this do not come without a lot of hard work and effort by lots of people. That is certainly true in this case. I would like to recognize and thank current and former Board Members, staff, state and local partners and our vendor partners for their significant contributions to this successful campaign. I am proud to say that we had several current and former Board Members and staff take action to support the bill at critical points throughout the legislative process.

Reducing the harm of tobacco is tough and daunting work. It is for that reason that it is important that we celebrate the big and small successes along the way. Thanks again and we will be sure to keep you updated on our campaign to increase tobacco taxes.

Sincerely,

David J. Willoughby
Chief Executive Officer
ClearWay Minnesota

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