Skip to main content

Now 2 Minnesota cities have raised the age to buy tobacco to 21

The new rule will go into effect Oct. 1.

There are now two cities in Minnesota where you have to be at least 21 to buy tobacco products.

Edina was the first city to raise the buying age, and on Monday the St. Louis Park City Council unanimously passed a measure to raise the legal age to buy tobacco and tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The ordinance not only raises the legal buying age, but it also increases the fines for those who sell tobacco to people who aren't 21. There are 23 tobacco license holders in the City of St. Louis Park, a news release said.

The new rule will go into effect on Oct. 1. Edina's went into effect on July 1.

Why raise the age?

Those who support raising the tobacco-buying age say it will help limit the number of teenagers who start smoking, which will then limit the number of smokers overall. The Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota said more than 95 percent of current smokers started before they were 21, and if the tobacco age is increased to 21 across Minnesota, it would prevent 30,000 kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years.

"Smoking contributes significantly to many health issues, both for the smoker and those around them. Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 is a very sensible and easy-to-enforce way to address this serious public health issue," St. Louis Park Council member Susan Sanger said, according to a news release from the city.

Those who oppose raising the age generally disagree with it because it infringes on adults' rights to use a legal product.

St. Louis Park council member Steve Hallfin, who voted against the ordinance at a special meeting in June, said: "I abhor tobacco products, but this ordinance is misguided. An 18 year old is considered an adult and can be a property owner, get married and go to war – I can’t see refusing to sell tobacco to them," according to a news release from the city.

Other cities are looking to do it too

Edina and St. Louis Park aren't the only cities raising the tobacco-buying age.

The City of Robbinsdale is apparently looking into it, the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota says. And advocates have been trying to push raising the legal age in the St. Cloud area, with the St. Cloud Times reporting the effort has the support of Sauk Rapids Mayor Kurt Hunstiger, while the mayors of St. Cloud and Sartell think the issue should be handled at the state level.

There was a proposal during the most recent legislative session that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 statewide, although it doesn't appear to have gotten out of the committee stage.

Next Up

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.

image

Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.

Clydesdale

Man dies after being run over by his Clydesdale in St. Cloud

The accident happened Sunday afternoon at the St. Cloud MAC.

Brandon Gardas

St. Michael standoff suspect charged, bail set at $10 million

A judge on Monday set the high bail due to "very significant concerns of public safety" regarding Brandon Gardas.

20210722_hhc_570

Minnesota's premier trauma center housed at HCMC

The Minneapolis center is nationally recognized in pediatric trauma

Crisp & Green

Crisp & Green opening 13th store in Twin Cities in July

The fast-casual salad and grains restaurant has exploded onto the food scene.

FLickr - Target Field 2019 - mark grabe

Twins to host post-game concert with country star at Target Field

Country singer Cole Swindell is expected to perform for up to 75 minutes after the conclusion of the Blue Jays-Twins contest.

10974344_886755688011981_7448860726679919201_o

Canton Restaurant closes after nearly 40 years in Burnsville

It's the end of an era in the Twin Cities restaurant world.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 12.47.20 PM

Luck strikes in Minnesota: lottery winners in Duluth, Grand Marais

The North Shore just so happened to be a lucky place to be this past weekend.

Related

Richfield joins the 21 movement, raises tobacco-buying age

There are now 10 cities in Minnesota with the ordinance.

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

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

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.

Hennepin County raises tobacco age to 21 for four cities

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

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.

vaping

MN House passes bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21

The legislation has also bipartisan support in the state senate.