MOUNDS VIEW, Minn. — The Twin Cities suburb of Mounds View is the 43rd city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.
The City Council on Monday, Sept. 9, approved changes to Ordinance 961, which formerly had prohibited the use of tobacco products to minors and had included a penalty for users.
The revisions put the onus more on the handful of stores in the city licensed to sell tobacco.
"The ordinance didn't really address the user," said Brian Beeman, Mounds View assistant city administrator. "We're going after the seller."
The five-member council voted unanimously to pass the revisions at the Aug. 26 meeting and again at Monday's meeting after mulling the changes since early spring.
Mounds View's charter requires the City Council to have two public readings before passing an ordinance. It goes into effect in 30 days.
Beeman said both meetings were attended by several students wearing the green Tobacco 21 T-shirts who spoke in favor of raising the age. Tobacco 21 is a movement from Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation that strives to reduce tobacco use through a preventive effort.
"The reasoning was, if they're old enough to be 18 and in the military, they should be old enough to smoke," Beeman said.
Shoreview was the first city in the east Twin Cities metro to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Four west metro cities — Bloomington, Edina, Plymouth, and St. Louis Park — had previously adopted higher age requirements.