Hennepin County approves raising tobacco age to 21 for select cities, MSP Airport

The ruling also limits the sale of flavored tobacco and establishes a minimum price for cigars.
Publish date:

Four Hennepin County cities and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport will join a growing list of jurisdictions limiting the purchase of tobacco products to those 21-years-old and older.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution 6-1 Tuesday establishing the age restriction for the cities of Greenfield, Mound, Rockford, Rogers and St. Bonifacius as well as the airport.

These cities do not regulate tobacco sales on their own and therefore leave control to the county.

The board also voted on other additional restrictions for those jurisdictions. Effective at the start of 2020, flavored tobacco will be limited to adult-only stores and cigars will have a mandated minimum price of $3.

District 7 Commissioner Jeff Johnson, the only dissenting vote, said these two provisions would hurt small businesses and primarily affect adults, not young people.

"The effects on small businesses that do sell cigarettes or tobacco products in these cities likely is going to be devastating,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Other board members cited county data to support the resolution, saying it was written in the interest of young people.

District 6 Commissioner Jan Callison noted data that 19 percent of 11th grade students in suburban Hennepin County use tobacco. She said the numbers in her district, which covers Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, Mound and Shorewood, were higher.

Follow Bring Me The News on LinkedIn

She said the business impacts Johnson pointed out would be minimal compared to the impact it would have on young people.

“For me this is about protecting kids. And I appreciate Commissioner Johnson’s argument. I understand there will be a business that will be affected,” she said. "I’m not sure if it will be catastrophic, but it will certainly make a difference.”

The resolution passed the board’s health committee earlier this month. 

The five jurisdictions join a number of others in the Twin Cities to set similar restrictions on tobacco sales in recent years. Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis, Roseville and St. Louis Park have all raised the tobacco age to 21, according to Clear Way Minnesota

Next Up

Luis Arraez

Arráez's triple gives Twins rare extra-inning victory

The Twins scored three runs in the 10th to take Friday's opener.

court gavel

St. Cloud man sentenced after traveling to meet minor he solicited online

Nathan Paul Grondahl learned his fate in a federal court this week.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Report: Contract talks between Kaprizov and Wild have 'gone cold'

The report states Kaprizov is drawing interest from the KHL.


Glensheen Mansion reveals new coffee bar - with fresh donuts

It's located in the historic Carriage House garage space

Bogdan Vechirko

Charges against trucker who barreled through protestors could be dropped

Bogdan Vechirko will have to avoid legal trouble for a year.

Dychaun Chew - South High School Facebook

Loved ones mourn 16-year-old killed in Minneapolis hit-and-run

South High School held a balloon release for Dychaun Chew Thursday evening.

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.


A Minnesota city is trying to raise the tobacco age to 21

It would be the first community in the state to have such a law.

St. Cloud's mayor vetoes raising the tobacco age to 21; Bloomington approves it

One mayor vetoed the move to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21.


MN House passes bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21

The legislation has also bipartisan support in the state senate.

Minneapolis raises tobacco-buying age to 21, Richfield next?

They're the ninth city in Minnesota to do so.

Richfield joins the 21 movement, raises tobacco-buying age

There are now 10 cities in Minnesota with the ordinance.