Local Nonprofit Hopes to Make ‘Tobacco 21’ a Statewide Law
Momentum continues to grow towards raising the minimum age to buy tobacco.
Robbinsdale became one of 27 cities and counties in Minnesota to increase the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21.
It’s considered as a huge victory for anti-tobacco advocates in their fight to protect young people.
“We know that, especially on tobacco issues, the cities lead and the state follows,” said Emily Anderson, program director for Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota. “We saw that with clean indoor air, where many cities and counties passed clean indoor air, prohibiting smoking in indoor public places before the state ever decided, ‘hey it’s time for us to do this too and protect all people from the harms of tobacco.’”
The nonprofit group, Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota, played a big role in getting Robbinsdale to enact its Tobacco 21 ordinance.
The ordinance goes into effect until July 1. In the meantime, they plan to work with the city to help implement the policy.
The long-term goal is to make Tobacco 21 a statewide law. However, with the popularity of e-cigarettes, they know that they need to step up their education efforts.
“We know that the policies that we work on though are having a good impact,” Anderson said. “And we are working closely with policy-makers and the community to say ‘hey, this isn’t a new, safer product.’ It’s something we need to look along the same lines of as tobacco and address it in the same way.”
The Robbinsdale City Council also voted to restrict the sales of e-cigarettes to “adult only” tobacco stores.