Another Minnesota City Contemplates Raising Tobacco Age to 21
It's an interesting dynamic that's spurred several debates across the state since Edina became the first city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco age to 21 earlier this year.
Now, the Mankato City Council is looking at the possibility of raising their age to buy tobacco as well.
According to Southern Minnesota News, the council held preliminary discussions on the option Monday and reportedly could bring a proposed ordinance forward as soon as later this summer for a public hearing.
Of course, this could raise a whole new set of problems because neighboring cities, including North Mankato, would also have to raise their ages as well, otherwise anyone underage could just go to get their cigarettes and chewing tobacco elsewhere.
Last month, a Rochester lawmaker introduced a bill that would raise the legal age for smoking everywhere in Minnesota to 21. Republican State Senator Carla Nelson said:
“Raising the tobacco age will prevent young people from smoking and save money, as those young people grow up to live healthier lives,” said Sen. Nelson, a longtime supporter of tobacco prevention measures. “Smoking costs Minnesota about $7 billion annually in excess health care costs and lost productivity from smoking. Tobacco 21 will address this problem where it starts.”
The measure is backed by Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation. The coalition of over 50 health organizations says research shows that increasing the legal age by three years would prevent an estimated 30,000 kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years.
In Minnesota, nearly 1 in every 6 adults smoke, although the number has dropped 10% since 2013.
Do you think Rochester, let alone the entire state should raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21?