The first Tobacco 21 regulation in the KTOE listening area officially goes into place Wednesday in Saint Peter.
City Administrator Todd Prafke says he thinks it will be a change for people, but adds that it’s likely more communities around Minnesota look at the regulation.
“Just about everyone that’s I’ve talked to on any side of this issue has said, or seems to believe, that if it was done on a wider geographic area, if it was regionally or statewide done, that that makes a lot more sense than community by community. I think that was part of the discussion of the City Council here and was really one of the points of contention, if there was a point of contention.”
ClearWay Minnesota estimates that about 25-percent fewer young adults would take up smoking if a statewide Tobacco 21 law were passed.
While the new ordinance doesn’t criminalize the use of tobacco products by 18 to 21-year olds, the purchasing age increase to 21 does include all forms of tobacco related products like e-cigarettes.
“Back in 2012 or 2013, we changed the ordinance to include those type of delivery devices are considered tobacco products. So when we changed the date, that impacted the sale of those products as well.”
Prafke says that the City received good response from tobacco license holders.
Saint Peter was the ninth Minnesota city to pass Tobacco 21, with the list including Edina, St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Shoreview, Falcon Heights and Minneapolis.
Tobacco 21 in North Mankato will go into effect on January 1.