African American Leadership Forum

AALF is a member of the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition

The African American Leadership Forum is a member of the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition, whose

mission is to reduce the influence of the tobacco industry on youth and other communities most

harmed by tobacco.

Flavored tobacco is one of the newest ways the tobacco industry is targeting youth. Tobacco

products, including cheap cigars and cigarillos, shisha (hookah tobacco), blunt wraps, snus,

chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, come in a wide variety of flavors and are available in stores in

every neighborhood of Saint Paul. With bright, colorful packaging and flavors such as

strawberry, hot chocolate and cotton candy, they appeal directly to youth.  Young people think

these products are less harmful but flavored tobacco is just as harmful and addictive as non-

flavored tobacco.

Each year about 45,000 African Americans die from smoking related illness. These illnesses are

the number one causes of death in our community and surpass all other causes of death including

AIDS, homicide, diabetes, and accidents. Flavored tobacco acts as initiation for young African-

American youth to start smoking.

As a coalition, we are supporting efforts in Saint Paul to prohibit the sale of candy, sweet and

fruity flavored tobacco products in stores where kids are allowed. In Saint Paul, this would limit

these products from 262 stores to about 16 tobacco-specific shops. According to the 2014

Surgeon General’s Report, restricting youth access to tobacco is effective for reducing youth

tobacco use. This ordinance will assure that Saint Paul youth will not be bombarded by flavored

tobacco products every time they walk into their neighborhood corner stores. 

You can help protect our young people from the harms of tobacco by supporting this ordinance.

Tell your Saint Paul councilmember you support restricting the sale of flavored tobacco and

attend the public hearing: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 5:30 PM at Saint Paul City Hall,

15 Kellogg Blvd W, 3rd floor, Saint Paul, MN 55102. The vote will take place December 2, 2015

at 3:30 PM, same location. For more information, visit: www.smokefreemn.org.

Together, we can promote the health of the next generation.