Tobacco use is still a problem for youth of Isanti County

Press release provided by Isanti County Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Coalition

Despite reports that tobacco use is continuing to decline across the state, Isanti County has the highest rate of youth tobacco use in the region.

This trend is largely attributed to the rise of popularity of e-cigarettes. One in three of Isanti County 11th- grade students reported using tobacco products in the past 30 days, including e-cigarettes. Tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of all lung cancers are linked to cigarette smoking. The tobacco industry continues to target our kids with cheap and flavored products that contain nicotine, including e-cigarettes. Nicotine interferes with brain maturation and has long-term effects on development and mental health, states medical director of HealthPartners, Dr. Thomas Kottke. National data show that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 21. Therefore, the youth of Isanti County are at a higher risk of developing nicotine dependence and more likely to use tobacco into their adult age.

The Isanti County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition hosted community education forums on tobacco in multiple locations including; Isanti, Cambridge and Braham. During these forums community members learned more about our current tobacco use rates and that tobacco is still an issue in Isanti County. Parents, local officials, and community members were surprised to see the high rates of tobacco use among our youth. The community forums also educated attendees on the facts about e-cigarettes and how they contain much more than just “water vapor” as many people falsely believe. After learning the facts, there was great discussion about ways to help prevent youth from starting to use tobacco products and showing our youth that we care.

To get involved with youth tobacco prevention work contact Deb Natzel at 763-689-8141 or visit

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