Town raises tobacco buying age to 21

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - St. Louis Park is standing with Tobacco 21.

On Monday, the St. Louis Park City Council voted 5-0 to pass the Tobacco 21 ordinance, which raises the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. According to St. Louis Park Communications and Marketing Manager Jacqueline Larson, Mayor Jake Spano and Tim Brausen were not present at the meeting, making it a five-member vote.

St. Louis Park became the second city in Minnesota to pass the ordinance, which goes into effect Oct. 1. Edina voted to raise the minimum age in early May.

“We are delighted that the St. Louis Park City Council passed the Tobacco 21 ordinance,” said Justin Bell of the American Heart Association in a release.

“Each day, nearly 2500 kids in this country try their first cigarette. By raising the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, St. Louis Park has taken a necessary step to protect the health of its children. Studies have shown that almost 90 percent of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 19, and this ordinance will make it that much harder for children to pick up this deadly habit. It’s exciting that St. Louis Park is the second city in Minnesota take that step.”

According to the National Academy of Medicine, smoking among 15- to 17-year-olds has decreased by 25 percent when the age has been raised to 21.

“Today St. Louis Park becomes one of more than 200 cities across the country who have passed Tobacco 21 laws, including New York, Cleveland and Kansas City,” said Bell. “We applaud the City Council for their decision to put the health of our children at the forefront of local policy.”

© 2017 KARE-TV


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