Legislation Would Raise Minnesota’s Smoking Age To 21
ST. PAUL, MN., AP– Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) announced new legislation today – SF 2370 – that would decrease youth smoking by raising the sales age for tobacco products to 21.
“Raising the tobacco age will prevent young people from smoking and save money, as those young people grow up to live healthier lives,”
said Sen. Nelson, a longtime supporter of tobacco prevention measures.”Smoking costs Minnesota about $7 billion annually in excess health care costs and lost productivity from smoking. Tobacco 21 will address this problem where it starts.”
According to Molly Moilanen, co-chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, a coalition of more than 50 health organizations, “Almost 95 percent of adult smokers started by 21. That means to prevent addiction; we must keep people from starting before then. Raising the tobacco age will help do that.”
A national consensus is growing to prevent addictions and future health problems by raising the sales age for tobacco products to 21. Two states and more than 220 cities and counties throughout the United States have raised the tobacco age. Edina was the first city in Minnesota to raise the smoking age earlier this week.