Brooklyn Center raises minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21

November 14, 2018

Brooklyn Center became the 16th city in Minnesota to raise the minimum age to legally buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 when the City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to adopt the measure.

The council also voted to restrict the sale of all electronic delivery devices to adult-only tobacco shops, increase the number of annual compliance checks and increase the penalties for stores that violate the ordinance.

The measure also capped the number of tobacco retailers at 15, down from 21, and restricts any new retailers to within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, community centers and libraries.

Several community members and residents spoke in favor of the measure before the council voted.

“I was only in elementary school when I lost two uncles to tobacco-related illnesses,” said Jess Nolan, who lives in Brooklyn Center and works for the American Heart Association. “An ordinance like Tobacco 21 might have prevented them from getting hooked on cigarettes and saved their lives. While we can’t go back in time to protect my uncles, we can do something to give the next generation the support they need to lead tobacco-free lives.”

With the vote, Brooklyn Center joins Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, St. Peter, Richfield, Roseville, Minnetonka, Excelsior, Lauderdale and Hermantown in raising the tobacco sales age to 21. One county, Otter Tail in northwestern Minnesota, has also raised the age to 21.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768

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