Last May, Edina became the first city in Minnesota to raise the smoking age to 21, and now a local lawmaker wants to take the law statewide. GOP Rep. Dario Anselmo, whose District 49A covers Edina, has authored a bill that would raise the age to purchase cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21.
If the bill becomes law, Minnesota would join California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon as the only states in the country with a legal smoking age of 21. Federal law says 18 is the legal age, but states and cities can supersede the law with more stringent rules.
According to Clearway Minnesota, raising the age to 21 could prevent 30,000 young people from smoking over time. Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) co-authored the bill and says they have bipartisan support, according to KSTP.
According to their announcement, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in disease in Minnesota, with more than 6,300 Minnesotans dying from it each year.
Plymouth, Bloomington, St. Louis Park and North Mankato have since followed Edina in raising the tobacco-buying age in Minnesota to 21.