The Minnesota legislature passed a strong, bi-partisan Tobacco 21 bill which was immediately signed by Governor Waltz on May 16th. Including Minnesota, 25 states have passed Tobacco 21 laws, now covering over 207 million people – 62.8% of the U.S. population.
Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation President Dr. Rob Crane noted, “With the passage of the Federal Tobacco 21 bill at the end of 2019, we are encouraged that states continue to prioritize bills that align their state tobacco laws with Federal law, and that many of these bills strengthen licensing and enforcement. Minnesota’s Tobacco 21 Bill (HF 331) stands out as a best practice law that truly protects kids from nicotine addiction and tobacco use. We applaud all who worked so tirelessly to enact this strong and thoughtful policy.”
Under the leadership of ClearWay Minnesota and partnership of the Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation Coalition, HF 331 not only raises the minimum legal sales age to 21 but also enhances enforcement provisions that hold retailers accountable, including stiff penalties and license suspensions for those who repeatedly sell underage. Press release found here.
“At the end of the day, our job is to keep Minnesotans safe,” said Governor Walz. “These strong bipartisan measures will improve public health and reduce preventable health risks. Raising the age to buy tobacco to 21 will help stop addiction before it starts and save young lives.”
In the midst of a deadly respiratory pandemic, the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation continues to urge states to pass strong tobacco control policies that will protect the health of their communities. We remain diligent in providing assistance with Tobacco 21 and tobacco retail licensing laws across the United States.