Shoreview raises tobacco sale age to 21

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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 years.

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