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Alabama: News



February 20, 2020
  • HF 3032 would ban the sale of “any tobacco, tobacco-related device, electronic nicotine delivery device … that imparts a taste or smell, other than the taste or smell of tobacco.

  • Banned flavors include, but are not limited to, “chocolate, cocoa, fruit, honey, menthol, mint, vanilla, wintergreen, or any candy, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice.” Under the bill, flavored cigars and cigarettes would be banned as well.

  • The sponsor of the legislation points to a so-called “public health epidemic of injury in addition to addiction,” as the reasoning for the ban, it is imperative that lawmakers understand recent vaping-related lung injuries have been overwhelmingly linked to the use of vapor products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a fact that The Heartland Institute first pointed out in August 2019.

  • As of December 30, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported 141 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-associated lung illnesses, including three deaths.

    • The state’s first death was reported September 6, 2019, with the patient over the age of 65 years-old and had vaped “illicit THC products.

    • MDH reported the additional two deaths on October 16, 2019, noting both patients were over the age of 50 and one had vaped “illegal THC,” and the other was “believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.

    • These illegal vaping products are rampant in the Gopher State. In September 2019, Minnesota police seized more than 75,000 illicit THC cartridges, worth an estimated $4 million. The suspect apparently sold the products using Snapchat.

  • According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, in 2019, 83.7 percent of 9th graders and 73.6 percent of 11th graders reported not using a vaping device in the 30 days prior to the survey

  • A ban on menthol cigarettes is unlikely to reduce youth combustible use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.

  • According to the Vapor Technology Association, in 2018, the industry created 1,152 direct vaping-related jobs in Minnesota, which generated $44 million in wages alone.

    • Moreover, the industry has created hundreds of secondary jobs in the Gopher State, bringing the total economic impact in 2018 to $336,366,200.

    • In the same year, Minnesota received more than $20 million in state taxes attributable to the vaping industry.

  • In 2019, Minnesota received an estimated $703.6 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes. In the same year, only $17.3 million in state funds, and 2 percent of what was received in tobacco monies, was dedicated to tobacco control. In 2018, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $110 million in marketing tobacco products in Minnesota, or over six times what the state spent on tobacco control programs.



January 16, 2020

Key Points: 

  • Minnesota’s vaping industry provided more than $336 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 1,152 direct vaping-related jobs. The national average of sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges exceeded $2.6 million in 2016.

  • As of December 30, 2019, MDH has reported 141 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses, including three deaths. MDH does not offer further information, but reported that two of the deceased patients had vaped THC. MDH earns a C for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2019, only 1.5 percent of Minnesota 9th and 11th grade students reported daily e-cigarette use, and 89.2 percent reported not using e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days. More data is needed.   

  • Only 2 percent of FDA retail compliance checks in Minnesota resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Minnesota spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Minnesota dedicated only $17.3 million or 2 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

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