After Edina ups smoking age to 21, is the rest of Minnesota next?

The bill would also increase fines for retailers caught selling to underage smokers.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's only been a few days since Edina voted to increase the age you can buy cigarettes in the city to 21, and some lawmakers now want to see the same thing happen statewide.

A bill proposed in the Minnesota Senate by four lawmakers and introduced by Sen. Carla Nelson (R–Rochester) would raise the state's minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

This would cover products including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, and if it were to be enacted would make Minnesota only the third U.S. state – after California and Hawaii – to have a smoking age of 21.

It would also introduce stiffer punishments for retailers found selling tobacco to underage customers, with a fine for a first offense fine rising from $75 to $250, with the second and third offenses rising from $200 and $250 to $500 and $1,000 respectively.

A third strike would also lead to a possible revoked license.

Earlier this week, Edina became the first city in Minnesota to raise its smoking age to 21, with council members seeing it as a way to stop more teenagers from taking up smoking.

Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation research claims that an increase in the legal age to buy tobacco would reduce the number of new smokers by 30,000 over the next 15 years, the Pioneer Press reports.

Sen. Nelson's bill proposal is as much about administrative practicality as it is health, saying it'd be easier to combat teen smoking on a statewide basis rather than "with a patchwork of individual city's efforts," the newspaper adds.

She told the Post Bulletin she is focusing on getting her bill passed this year, though critics of her plan say a 21 smoking age infringes on adults' rights to use a legal product.

Next Up

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.21.08 AM

Baby steals the show in Minnesota family's viral TikTok video

Definitely busting out that wobbly baby move at the next party...

George Floyd protest

Activist groups release 'The People's Budget,' call for $53M Minneapolis police cuts

The People's Budget, spearheaded by Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, would cut more than $53 million from MPD's budget.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Man dies weeks after November mini bike crash in Lakeville

The crash involved in mini bike and a van in Lakeville on Nov. 9.

Related

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.

Study: Smoking 50 cigarettes creates a potential cancer-starting mutation

It's been proven beyond doubt that smoking tobacco is harmful to human health, but a new study has put some figures on how cigarettes cause cancer by altering smokers' DNA.

What would $45.8 billion get Minnesota over the next two years?

The state budget Gov. Dayton is proposing would increase spending on schools and roads.

Smoking figures prove a GOP tobacco tax cut a bad idea, Dayton says

Governor Dayton's message to the GOP is as subtle as a Cuban cigar.

Proposed bill would raise the smoking age in Minnesota

Five cities have already raised the smoking age to 21.