The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners have announced that they will hold a public hearing on Jan. 22, 2019 on a proposed ordinance that would increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the county from 18 to 21-years-old.
Ordinance 29 would also apply to tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices.
The county will maintain the current fines associated with selling to a person below the minimum age, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000, and up to 90 days in jail.
Minnesota has become a recent hotbed of municipalities drafting and passing such ordinances, as more than more than 20 cities and municipalities that have passed increases that are commonly known as Tobacco 21 ordinances. Just this month, Waseca, Pope County and Eden Prairie have passed increases, joining Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Mendota Heights, Brooklyn Center and Hermantown as some of the more notable cities who had already passed their own ordinances.
Beltrami County is located in the northern part of the state and is home to approximately 46,500 residents.