Edina raises age to buy tobacco to 21

Cigarettes for sale
Edina has raised the age to purchase tobacco to 21.
Gene J. Puskar | AP 2015

Updated: 8:03 a.m. | Posted: 7:15 a.m.

The city of Edina has passed an ordinance that will raise the age limit for buying cigarettes and tobacco products from 18 to age 21. City officials hope the change will curb cigarette sales to minors.

It's the first such law in the state, although cities elsewhere in the U.S. have adopted the policy, as did the state of California last year.

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City Council Member Mary Brindle hailed the measure as she and her colleagues voted to approve it.

"It's really about making sure that we protect young people in our community, because we've publicly adopted the idea that the health of people in our community, whether you work or live here, study here, whatever gets you here, is of great importance to us," said Brindle.

The ordinance includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. It will affect more than a dozen licensed sellers, including the city's three municipal liquor stores.

Edina Mayor Jim Hovland says he hopes other cities will follow his city's example.

"Hopefully, this will percolate up to the state at some point in time, just like no smoking in bars, no smoking in restaurants, no smoking in office buildings, all percolated up to the state Legislature."

The change is effective July 1.