Early this morning, ClearWay Minnesota praised the Edina City Council for considering an ordinance that would prevent youth smoking by raising the tobacco age to 21. Council Members heard strong public support for the measure during the hearing. If passed, Edina would be the first city in the state to enact such a measure.
“Thank you, Edina City Council, for considering a policy that will keep kids from smoking, and now we are counting on you to pass it,” said Molly Moilanen, our Director of Public Affairs. “Almost 95 percent of adult addicted smokers start before age 21. This policy makes it harder for young people to access tobacco products before that age – and if young people make it to 21 without smoking, chances are they will never start.”
Dr. Caleb Schultz, a physician who has spearheaded the policy effort in Edina, said, “Tobacco 21 is the right step for Edina to take, because we care about our kids. Edina would be the first in Minnesota, but hopefully not the last. We can set an example for other communities to follow.”
Members of the Edina High School Sober Squad told the Council, “Raising the minimum sales age will remove tobacco from the high-school environment. By working together, we can protect generations to come from these dangerous and deadly products.”
A national consensus is growing to prevent addictions and future health problems by raising the sale age of tobacco products to 21. California and Hawaii and more than 220 cities and counties throughout the United States have raised the tobacco age.
- Research shows that increasing the tobacco age in Minnesota would prevent 30,000 kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years.
- The tobacco industry heavily targets 18-to-21-year-olds with candy flavoring, magazine advertisements and event sponsorships.
- 75 percent of adult Americans favor increasing the minimum purchase age for tobacco to 21.
The Edina City Council is set to vote on this ordinance on Tuesday, May 2.