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Minneapolis is raising the tobacco-buying age to 21, Richfield could be next

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

Later this morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will make the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 illegal in Minneapolis. 

In doing so, Minneapolis will become the ninth city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco-buying age to 21, joining Bloomington, Edina, Falcon Heights, North Mankato, Plymouth, Shoreview, St. Cloud and St. Louis Park. 

But Minneapolis is by far the biggest of those cities, and it's decision to raise the age is a significant victory for health campaigners.

The ordinance that's expected to be passed by Minneapolis City Council on Friday was authored by members Jeremiah Ellison and Andrew Johnson, in an effort to reduce smoking among youth and to push for the tobacco-buying age of 21 to become state law. 

Earlier this week the Richfield council members voted unanimously to move forward with increasing the buying age to 21, and they'll hold a final vote on June 12. 

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In March, a state lawmaker proposed a bill that would raise the minimum smoking age to 21 across the whole of Minnesota, which, according to Clearway Minnesota, could prevent 30,000 young people from smoking over time.

The Institute of Medicine recently found that raising the buying age to 21 could cut down on the number of teens aged 15-17 who smoke by as much as 25 percent. 

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