St. Paul City Council to review ordinance setting a minimum price of $ 10 for standard-size cigarette packs and cans of smokeless tobacco and prohibiting the use of coupons or price promotions on all tobacco products commercial. If passed, Saint-Paul will be one of the few cities in the country to ban both the use of coupons and other price promotions. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for October 20, followed by a city council vote on the 27th.
If approved, the restrictions would go into effect on November 27.
“We have seen an increase in the number of tobacco stores and violations of our existing tobacco policies in St. Paul. This comprehensive ordinance will strengthen our existing system to hold tobacco stores accountable. It will also protect our communities most affected by tobacco industry targeting by keeping tobacco prices high and reducing access to these harmful products, ”said Amy Brendmoen, St. Paul.
The draft ordinance also sets out a number of other clarifying provisions, including:
Creation of two classes of tobacco licenses – one for businesses such as convenience stores that sell tobacco along with other products and one for businesses that primarily sell tobacco products
Set a distance between retailers that sell tobacco of at least half a mile
Reduce the number of tobacco licenses over time
Ban the sale of all menthol and flavored tobacco products in liquor stores
Increasing penalties against retailers who violate municipal tobacco policies will help stem the tide of tobacco addiction in communities most affected by tobacco industry targeting. Tobacco companies spent $ 7.7 billion in 2016 to reduce the price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco for consumers. It’s almost $ 900,000 an hour. Tobacco companies use coupons and retail promotions to lower the price of products. Price promotions target smokers, so they are almost invisible to the general public and allow the tobacco industry to manipulate their prices.
Only a few cities across the country have policies of prohibiting minimum prices and discounting prices; St. Paul’s policy is the most comprehensive because it includes electronic cigarettes.
“Coupons and price promotions are another example of the tobacco industry targeting communities of color with cheap tobacco,” said Sylvia Amos, director of programs for the Stairstep Foundation. “The black community is fed up with the tobacco companies that take advantage of our lives. This proposed policy will save lives.
The St. Paul Tobacco Ordinance comes after years of organization and advocacy by the Association for Nonsmokers — Minnesota (ANSR). ANSR engaged over 40 diverse community partners, the St. Paul Ward District Councils, the St. Paul Youth Commission, and the St. Paul Human Rights Commission to support the effort.
“The Minnesota children targeted by Big Tobacco deserve strong tobacco prevention policies that put public health before tobacco industry profits,” said Molly Moilanen, vice president of ClearWay MinnesotaSM and co-chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation. “We urge St. Paul City Council to adopt this comprehensive and vital policy.”
About Minnesotans for a smoke-free generation
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of more than 60 organizations that share a common goal of saving Minnesota youth from a life of tobacco addiction. The coalition supports policies that reduce youth smoking and nicotine addiction, including increasing the price of tobacco, ending the sale of menthol and all flavored tobacco products, and funding health care programs. prevention and treatment of tobacco.
Partners include: African American Leadership Forum, Allina Health, Allina Health | Aetna, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Apple Tree Dental, Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota, Aurora / St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Becker County Energized, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation, Cancer Legal Care, CentraCare, Children’s Defense Fund-MN, Children’s Minnesota, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio – CLUES, Dodge County Public Health, Education Minnesota, Essentia Health, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, A Healthier Southwest, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Horizon Public Health, Indigenous Peoples Task Force, ISAIAH, JustUs Health, LAAMPP Alumni, Lake Region Healthcare, Local Public Health Association of Minnesota, LPCFC – Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, March of Dimes, Masonic Cancer Center – University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Medica, Meeker McLeod Sibley Community Health Services, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, Minnesota Cancer Alliance, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Dental Association , MHA – Minnesota Hospital Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, Minnesota Society for Public Health Education, Minnesota Public Health Association, MNAAP – Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, ModelCities, NAMI Minnesota, North Memorial Santé, NorthPoint Health & Wellness, Olmsted Medical Center, Open Cities Health Center, Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe), PartnerSHIP 4 Health, Perham Health & Living, Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, ShiftMN, region of St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, Steele County Public Health, Tobacco-Free Alliance, Twin Cities Medical Society, UCare, Vision In Living Life – Change is Possible, WellShare International, and Zumbro Valley Medical Society.