Edina Residents Fear Teens Will Bypass a New Rule to Cracking Down Youth Smoking

May 03, 2017 08:59 AM

On Tuesday, the Edina City Council approved an ordinance called "Tobacco 21," aimed to curb teen smoking. Under the new rule teens will not be able to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other tobacco products until the age of 21.

Edina is the first city in Minnesota to pass the ordinance. According to tobacco21.org, there are 220 cities in 16 states across the country that have passed a similar ordinance to change the tobacco purchasing age limit from 18 to 21.

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RELATED: Edina Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21

Chris Rutherford lives in Edina. He is aware that smoking can cause severe health problems. He said his father started smoking at a young age.

"He smoked for many years and now he can hardly walk," Rutherford said." "I would like to see that not be a problem for our younger generation."

Rutherford said he is concerned that the new rule will entice youth to drive to other cities outside of Edina to purchase tobacco products.

"I think it's a good idea in theory, unless every community does it they'll just go out to the next community to purchase the cigarettes and bring them back," he said.

Phillip Chestelson, who is a resident of Edina, said he believes the new ordinance will help prevent youth from sharing products and developing a smoking habit while in high school.

"They won't be able to ask their 18-year-old friends to get them a pack of cigarettes," Chestelson said. "I think it would help a little bit of course. You know what they say about prohibition people are going to do what they want regardless."

Edina City Council members hope other cities will pass similar ordinances in an effort to curb teen smoking and create a healthier environment.

The "Tobacco 21" ordinance will take effect on July 1.

Credits

Cleo Greene

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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