skip navigation

Advocates, youth unite for Take Down Tobacco Day at State Capitol, speak on impacts of addiction

By Dustin Boll, 04/22/24, 10:30AM CDT


SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota youth and advocates from Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation and the American Lung Association in Minnesota rallied together at the State Capitol today for Take Down Tobacco Day. Advocates spoke about the urgent need to end the sale of flavored commercial tobacco products that target young people with sweet, menthol and candy-like flavors, leading to a steep rise in tobacco addiction and other health concerns among Minnesota youth. 

The American Lung Association has been showcasing “Youth Voices,” an exhibit currently on display in the Capitol’s North Corridor until April 25, which features hundreds of personal narratives from young Minnesotans ages 11 to 21. Their stories highlight the impact tobacco addiction has had on their lives, friends, family and classmates.

One of 4 students and adults who participated in the press conference, David Murillo Mondragón, a 10th grade student at Two Rivers High School, and a member of ALMAS, shared how vaping has impacted his family.  "At a young age, they believed the lie of Big Tobacco, that vaping was safe... Now they are addicted and I see them vaping every time I'm with them. I'm super worried about their future because I know what the health dangers are. They Still Believe The Lie!"

Public concern for flavored commercial tobacco products has been on the rise as alarming reports from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey found nearly 20% of Minnesota high school students reported using e-cigarettes, with 88% of those choosing flavored ones. Statewide polling has also found that 62% of Minnesotans support a proposal to end the sale of these products, showing this issue is top of mind for many Minnesota families and young people.