Minnetonka 12th T21 City in MN

Minnetonka 12th T21 City in MN

  Minnetonka jointed the momentum to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. It became the latest city in the Metro when the City Council unanimously voted to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 on Sept. 17. “This is one of the easiest votes I’ve cast,” council member Tim Bergstedt said. “We are making a decision that will change lives.” Minnetonka is the 12th city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, Saint Peter, Richfield and Roseville have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Jerry Levine, a resident and advocate, said during a July 23 hearing, “I understand that we have made progress on preventing people from smoking cigarettes, but the tobacco industry is clever. New products like e-cigarettes are addicting the next generation, and thus youth tobacco rates are rising. We can’t let this happen here in our community.” Many community members showed up in support of this life-saving ordinance. Several community members and students shared stories of personal loss from tobacco use and nicotine addiction. They urged the council to support the ordinance to prevent another generation from suffering the same fate. Hopkins High senior Kaitlyn Ziegler spoke about the prevalence of vaping among her classmates. “It has become a part of school culture to vape at events and on social media,” Ziegler said. Said council member Patty Acomb, “I’m proud of the young people advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers.” Youth e-cigarette use has increased nearly 50 percent in the past three years, according to the...
Roseville 11th Minnesota city to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Roseville 11th Minnesota city to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Roseville became the latest city in the Metro to protect youth when the City Council unanimously voted to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 on June 18. Council member Robert Willmus, who brought this to the city council last year, said he especially liked seeing all the youth in the audience. He talked about his son, a rising high school senior, sharing stories and videos of teens smoking in school. “For me, where it really hits home is with the young people and what we can do to stop them from starting,” Willmus said. Roseville is the 11th city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, Saint Peter and Richfield have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Council member Lisa Laliberte said this was a positive step for Roseville, but said its neighboring cities, as well as the state, needs to step up on this issue. “We are doing this, and this is great, but there’s a lot of other work,” Laliberte said. “We border 10 cities, and three have done this, but seven haven’t. I challenge our state legislators to look at this.” Community members showed up in force, with more than 60 packing the chambers, to support this life-saving ordinance. Many shared stories of personal loss from tobacco use and nicotine addiction. They urged the council to support the ordinance to prevent another generation from suffering the same fate. “It’s heartening to see the young people here,” council member Tammy McGehee said. “I think it’s important to provide less...
Richfield raises tobacco sales age to 21

Richfield raises tobacco sales age to 21

  The Richfield City Council showed strong leadership in protecting the health and well-being of its residents on June 12 by voting unanimously to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Council member Maria Regan Gonzalez championed the ordinance, along with council members Mike Howard and Edwina Garcia. Council member Simon Trautmann and Mayor Pat Elliott also voted in favor. “This is not about stigmatizing smokers or stigmatizing the vaping community,” Gonzalez said. “It is about limiting access for our youth to nicotine and starting smoking.” Richfield is the 10th city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis and Saint Peter have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. “Thank you to the City of Richfield for being a leader in our state and protecting future generations to come from harmful and addictive products including vapes and e-cigarettes,” said University of Minnesota student and Richfield resident Nia...
Minneapolis largest city in MN to raise tobacco sales age to 21

Minneapolis largest city in MN to raise tobacco sales age to 21

  The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously on May 25 to raise the tobacco sales age to 21, drawing a standing ovation from the large crowd of green-shirted Tobacco 21 advocates in the chambers. The council members also stood and clapped after the passage of the ordinance. Council Members Andrew Johnson and Jeremiah Ellison co-authored the ordinance, which will reduce youth smoking and combat tobacco industry targeting. Immediately after the conclusion of the council meeting, Mayor Jacob Frey held a press conference in support of the ordinance and signed it into law. “… Our youth and our students are the ones changing hearts and minds on many things,” Frey said. “Today, the unanimous vote is a result of your hard work and persistence.” Minneapolis is the eighth city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights and Shoreview have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Frey named all these cities and said, “Now, Minneapolis has joined them too!” “Let’s go save some lives,” Frey said as he signed the ordinance. Frey and Johnson also encouraged state lawmakers to turn this into state law and protect all youth in Minnesota. Studies project 30,000 youth would not start smoking during the next 15 years if enacted across the state. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. More than 300 cities and five states nationally have raised the age to 21. “Cigarettes are easy to get your hands...
Falcon Heights restricts sale of all flavored tobacco products, raises tobacco sales age to 21

Falcon Heights restricts sale of all flavored tobacco products, raises tobacco sales age to 21

  Falcon Heights took major steps to protect its youth and residents on May 9, when it became the first city in the state to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores and raise the tobacco sales age to 21. The measures passed on a 3-2 vote. Falcon Heights is the second city in two days – and seventh overall in Minnesota – to raise the tobacco sales age to 21, following Shoreview, which voted to raise the age to 21 on Monday. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth and North Mankato have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. Mayor Peter Lindstrom cast the deciding vote after talking about how the letters he received in support of the ordinance hit home for him. He quoted a student who wrote, “We need to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice.” “For 17 years, all the efforts have worked, but there’s been a change, and we need to double down our efforts now. Not tomorrow, but now,” Lindstrom said, citing the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, which saw an increase in youth tobacco use for the first time in 17 years. Much of the increase has been attributed to increased use of e-cigarettes and cheap, flavored cigars. “It’s everywhere,” said Roseville Area High School junior Vakare Bartkaitis. “There are no doors on our bathrooms because of people using e-cigarettes. You can smell it walking into the bathrooms. They...
Shoreview raises tobacco sale age to 21

Shoreview raises tobacco sale age to 21

  In a growing trend in Minnesota, Shoreview became the sixth city in the state to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 when the Shoreview City Council unanimously approved the ordinance on June 7. “The city of Shoreview has a long history of tobacco prevention,” Mayor Sandy Martin said. “This will be monumental.” Shoreview joins Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth and North Mankato in Minnesota. There are five states and more than 300 municipalities that have raised the sales age for all tobacco products to 21. More than 95 percent of current smokers started smoking before they turned 21. If youth don’t start smoking before the age of 21, they likely never will. “I want to help other youth not get started using tobacco products,” said Mounds View senior Meghan McFarling, who was one of four students who testified. “Vaping has exploded in popularity, and my peers aren’t aware of the danger of products, such as JUUL. This ordinance will make it harder for young kids to get access to these products by taking them out of the high schools. This will help to stop the start.” Shoreview has been a champion for health. Just two years ago, the council voted to restrict the sale of flavored products to adult-only tobacco stores. A national consensus is growing to prevent addictions and future health problems by raising the sale age of tobacco products to 21. Research shows that increasing the tobacco age in Minnesota would prevent 30,000 youth from becoming smokers over the next 15...
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