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Mankato, Lilydale raise tobacco age to 21

Mankato, Lilydale raise tobacco age to 21 Photo: KSTP

May 14, 2019 06:19 PM

Two more Minnesota communities have raised their legal age for purchasing and using tobacco to 21.

On Monday night, the cities of Lilydale and Mankato voted to raise their tobacco ages to 21, becoming Minnesota's 33rd and 34th communities to do so. Minnesota now has more Tobacco 21 communities than any state without a statewide policy, according to Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation.

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The Minnesota House of Representatives also passed a bill that would raise the state's tobacco age to 21, authorize the continuation of funds for a statewide quit-smoking service and expand the smoking definition to include e-cigarettes. However, the Senate has yet to approve any measure related to raising the state tobacco age, but does have language to fund the statewide quit-smoking service and expand the state's smoking definition to include e-cigarettes as part of the Health and Human Services omnibus bill, similar to the House.

Related: House votes to raise Minnesota tobacco age to 21

Arden Hills, Albert Lea pass Tobacco 21 ordinances

On Monday, Maryland became the 13th state to change its tobacco age to 21.

Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation said in a news release that nearly 95 percent of addicted adult smokers start before the age of 21, and the National Academy of Medicine estimates raising the tobacco age to 21 would reduce smoking among 15- to 17-year-olds by 25 percent.

You can watch the Mankato City Council's hearing and vote on the topic at Monday's meeting here.

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