Minneapolis Adopts Tobacco 21

Council raises legal age of purchase on already highly regulated product category

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a city that just last year opted to restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes to adults-only retail establishments, Minneapolis’ decision to raise the legal buying age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 piles on another layer of regulation for convenience retailers.

On May 25, the Minneapolis City Council voted to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21, joining seven other Minnesota towns and about 300 municipalities across the country in deciding to do the same.

Supporters greeted the approval of the ordinance with applause, according to a Star Tribune report. Mayor Jacob Frey signed the ordinance, which was championed by Council Members Jeremiah Ellison and Andrew Johnson.

The ordinance faced the most significant pushback from e-cigarette dealers, the report said. Meghan Shea of the Coalition of Neighborhood Retailers said the ordinance may hurt businesses enough to squeeze retailers out of Minneapolis.

The new law restricting tobacco sales to those who can legally buy alcohol goes into effect Oct. 1.

Photo: Thinkstock

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