The Mankato City Council has approved a public hearing on raising the purchasing age for tobacco from 18 to 21.

On a 5-2 vote, the Council set February 12 as the date of the hearing, an amended date from the originally discussed January 22.

Mankato Mayor Eric Anderson voted no to the public hearing.

“This issue should be relegated to the state and therefore I don’t see any purpose on setting this public hearing on the matter.”

Meanwhile, Councilman Mark Frost voted in favor of the hearing and pointed to the cities “leading the way” motto.

“Passing off to the state is basically what the tobacco industry wants us to do, because they’re gonna be up there lobbying as hard as they’re lobbying us now. I’ve never been lobbied by an outside firm before, but I have been lobbied by a tobacco paid firm to go against or to set some amendments to this or do whatever they could.”

North Mankato will hold a public hearing on January 16 at 7 p.m. to discuss raising the purchasing age.