The list of Minnesota cities that are joining the Tobacco 21 movement continues to grow, as Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center passed an ordinance this week that will increase the tobacco purchasing age to 21-years-old before the end of the year.
In addition, the city council voted to restrict the sale of all electronic nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes and vaping units, to specialty tobacco shops where only adults are allowed to enter. A cap on tobacco retailers was also enacted, dropping the number from 21 to 15 and restricting any new retailers from opening with 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries and community centers.
Compliance checks will also be increasing from at least one to at least two per year, while fines for selling to a person prohibited from purchasing tobacco will go up significantly; first time violations go from $100 to $200, second violations increase go from $200 to $500 and a third violation within 24 months will now come with a $750 fine, up from $250.
The vote was unanimous, according to a report by StarTribune.com The changes are scheduled to into effect 30 days after passage and publication.
Brooklyn Center is home to approximately 31,000 residents and is located directly to the northwest of Minneapolis.