A bi-partisan group of state representatives wants to raise Minnesota’s tobacco sale age from 18 to 21. Republican Representative Dario Anselmo of Edina says the effects of smoking are devastating and “it kills more people in Minnesota than any preventable disease, alcohol, homicides, car accidents, aids, illegal drugs and suicide combined.” Anselmo says “as a parent and as a legislator I want to keep tobacco out of the hands of Minnesota kids. ” Similar changes have been made at the local level already in Edina, Plymouth, St. Louis Park and Bloomington. Though Republican Representative Sandy Layman of Cohasset says it’s not just a metro issue. She says she “would like this law to reach throughout rural Minnesota and the way to do that is Minnesota to lead with this statewide measure. We need to protect our youth in rural communities just as much as you can protect your youth here in the Twin Cities.” Caitlin Devos is a Wayzata High School graduate who lost her mom and grandfather to cancer. She says last year tobacco companies spent about $487,000 to prevent laws like this one from being passed and she’s “not about to let big tobacco’s big lobbying dollars tell my elected leaders that their right to sell deadly products is more important than the health of Minnesota kids.” Opponents of raising the age say it would hurt local store owners and should be a federal-level decision–not made at the local level.