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Vaping in Minnesota topic of Walz announcement Wednesday

Updated: December 04, 2019 06:45 AM

Problems with vaping continue across the country, with nearly 50 deaths and more than 2,000 people affected by lung illness linked to vaping.

Three of those deaths were in Minnesota.

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Those illnesses are happening as more and more young people are admitting to vaping.

Gov. Tim Walz will speak on the issue during a news conference on Wednesday.

Walz has been calling for a ban on flavored tobacco products and is pushing to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 statewide.

Earlier this fall, Walz went on a three-day tour with students and teachers to learn more about the vaping boom in Minnesota schools.

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Part of the reason for the tour was to help the current administration understand the faces and stories behind the growing numbers.

During his visits, students told Walz vaping is a significant problem and that some students even vape while in class.

A recent student survey found one in four 11th graders say they vape. Meanwhile, 76 percent of students say they believe there is little to no health risk when using e-cigarettes.

Walz has suggested legislators take up the issue in a special session.

As for Wednesday's event, the governor's office isn't giving any details about the news conference, but 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned Attorney General Keith Ellison will join Walz.

The news conference starts at 11:30 a.m. Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.

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