Edina has become the first city in the state to change the tobacco purchasing age from 18-21. The city council passed the resolution in a unanimous vote last night. Edina Mayor James Hovland says city leaders were compelled by the data when a Massachusetts made a similar change…
“By virtue of raising the age at which you can purchase tobacco products 18-to-21, they saw a 50-percent reduction over time in the number of kids starting to smoke in their teens.”
Hovland says he understands that some retailers object to the decision, but says “sometimes there are overriding considerations.”
“If we can keep kids from starting to smoke and this is another tool in that arsenal to avoid tobacco products and see a healthier population in adulthood without contraction of diseases that were clearly preventable if you hadn’t been an active smoker, than we think that’s a good thing.”
Hovland says he’s heard from other communities throughout the state, including Frazee and Detroit Lakes, that are also considering making a similar change.
The Edina ordinance takes effect on July 1st.