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The Associated Press April 14, 2010, 11:16AM ET

Minn. anti-smoking rally targets tobacco products

Anti-smoking advocates in Minnesota are going after tobacco strips that dissolve in the mouth and battery-operated e-cigarettes that deliver puffs of nicotine vapor.

They rally Wednesday at the Capitol for a ban on the sale of the products to youth.

A bill from Democratic Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis would prohibit retailers from selling the products to minors. They also couldn't display the products next to candy or gum, and "little cigars" would be classified as cigarettes and regulated more stringently.

Advocates including ClearWay Minnesota and the American Heart Association say Minnesota's tobacco laws haven't kept up as cigarette companies develop new products. The state banned smoking in restaurants and bars in 2007.

Dibble's bill gets its first hearing Thursday.

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