Walz to visit schools to better understand e-cig use among Minnesota youth

Updated: October 22, 2019 05:52 AM

Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz will start a three-day tour with students, teachers and staff to learn more about the vaping boom in Minnesota schools.

A recent student survey found the number of eighth graders who report using these products nearly doubled from 2016.


E-cigarette use among Minnesota students on the rise

Part of the reason for the tour is to help the current administration in Minnesota understand the faces and stories behind the growing numbers and to understand why so many teens in Minnesota are using vapes and e-cigarettes. 

In addition to highlighting the rise of e-cigarette use among eighth graders, the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey also found one in four 11th graders say they vape.

Walz has previously said that what's even more troubling is 76 percent of students say they believe there is little to no health risk when using e-cigarettes.

"The fact of the matter is it's not a safe alternative; it's proving to be much more in many cases, having catastrophic effects if it's misused and it's absolutely going to lead down to the same road to nicotine addiction and the problems that happen," Walz said. 

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Walz is now calling for a ban on flavored tobacco products and is pushing to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 statewide. He even suggested legislators take up the issue in a special session.

The listening tour is expected to begin just before 10 a.m. Tuesday. 

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