Governor Listens to Hopkins High Students About Vaping
Students are calling for more health counselors and education on the vaping epidemic. In a roundtable discussion Tuesday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz listened to what Hopkins High School students had to say about vaping.
Efforts to address the vaping epidemic comes after the state announced three people have died from vaping.
Hopkins High School Students Talk About Vaping Epidemic
High school students explained that vaping seemed like a safe way to feel release. But the side effects of addiction is causing trouble.
“When I would go to class after trying to stop, it was like I wasn’t able to even concentrate on what I used to easily do,” said Hopkins High School student Claire Hering. “It felt like I was losing my sanity and that’s what drew me to go back. But then quitting, it’s horrible for a bit, but it does get better and I can promise anyone whose trying to quit.”
A recent state report says the number of eighth-grade students who vape nearly doubled since 2016. The Minnesota Department of Health reports about 78 people so far experienced severe lung disease stemming from vaping.
Governor Walz is putting together a policy to combat the use of e-cigarettes. The governor is pushing state lawmakers to raising the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Cities Take Proactive Steps to Curb Youth Vaping
Meanwhile, the number of cities that have raised the legal sales age of tobacco products, including vaping devices, has gone up to 53. These cities approved T21 measures, which raises the legal sales age to 21 years old. One of the latest is Golden Valley, which also restricted sales of flavored tobacco products.
“We do believe tobacco 21 and banning of flavors including menthol has proven to work and reduce the incidents in other places,” Gov. Walz said. “I was mentioning that my executive authority does not extend the bill to do that, we’re going to push it and I’m really hopeful in Minnesota, I think you’re really starting to see movement and bipartisan work on the insulin issue. We think this one falls right in that category. This is not divisive.”
Gov. Walz will also be visiting St. Cloud and Faribault schools this week.