Needing a majority vote to pass Tobacco 21 in Saint Peter, the City Council was split Monday night on the ordinance change that failed on a 3-3 tie.

Council member Susan Carlin was not present at the meeting, but last month indicated that she is in support of Tobacco 21. A motion to table the issue until all members were present was not passed, setting up a vote on changing the smoking age from 18 to 21, which ultimately failed.

Following the council meeting, Councilman Jeff Brand signed onto a request by John Kvamme to have the ordinance change put back on the agenda next month. Brand said he felt it was important to bring the issue back for the supporters who packed the council chamber. 

“This isn’t a defeat, this is just the first stage of a good battle I think. We’re looking forward to helping the youth of Minnesota. I hope that that continues as well. All of those people that were there, their on the front lines. They’re the pediatricians, the folks that are doing county health and things like that. They’re gonna continue to do their work and I’m gonna continue to do mine as well.”

Hoping for more of a regional approach, Mayor Chuck Zieman voted no to Tobacco 21. He pointed out that too many 18 to 21 year olds have the ability to travel to other communities to do businesses.

“So that is my concern. We fight hard to have restaurants, whatever businesses in this town. I am here to represent everyone. I don’t feel in this Tobacco 21, we are actually representing a very small segment. There are other people involved in this that have nothing to do with the selling of tobacco products to people under 21 years of age.”

Minnesota Cities to increase the purchasing age include North Mankato, Edina, St Louis Park, Bloomington and Plymouth.