Golden Valley Puts Final Stamp of Approval on T21
Golden Valley has approved some of the strictest tobacco regulations in the state.
On Tuesday, the city council unanimously approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum sales age to 21 including e-cigarettes.
It would also stop the sale of flavored tobacco, including flavors like menthol.
The ordinance is meant to help combat the vaping epidemic. But some business owners are concerned it will put them on an uneven playing field.
“If the goal of this ordinance is for the city council to overreach and to police behaviors of adults that use a federally legal product, you will see it be the success of driving business out of this community,” said Gretchen Weinke with Liquor Barrel. Weinke also spoke against the restrictions at a previous meeting.
The ordinance also prohibits the sale of tobacco at pharmacies.
In addition, the minimum price will increase by a dollar.
Council members say the regulations are in response to a public health crisis concerning teens and vaping products.
“This initiative, on the part on the city council, is not spurred on by any displeasure with our business community or their ability to make any living,” said Golden Valley Councilmember Larry Fonnest. “This is a public health issue and we are elected officials who took an oath of office to protect the public good. Let’s face it, tobacco and nicotine products are not in the best interest in our society or public good.”
According to Mayor Shep Harris, Golden Valley will become the 50th city in Minnesota to adopt the Tobacco 21 policy.
The ordinance goes into effect January 1st.
To watch the meeting, click here.