A proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Detroit Lakes, Minn. met an early demise on Tuesday, as the city council voted against giving it a first reading, effectively stopping it in its tracks.
The proposal had been in the works since at least early August when the council sent out an advisory to tobacco retailers that the proposal would be coming up for a hearing. When that hearing happened on Tuesday, despite two hours of testimony on the matter, Alderman Ron Zeman made a motion to not give the ordinance its first reading. The council voted 6-2 in favor, according to WDAZ.com. The report states that there was concern about the effectiveness of such an increase when done only at the city level, not statewide.
Minnesota currently has just two cities that has passed similar increases, Edina and St. Louis Park. A proposal for a statewide increase was introduced in early May at the tail end of the legislative session, while the cities of Mankato and North Mankato have been deadlocked on finalizing language to be considered by their respective city leaders.
A new ordinance could be proposed in the future, as some who spoke at the meeting indicated a desire to have electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine delivery devices not subject to the age increase.
Detroit Lakes is located approximately 215 miles northwest of Minneapolis and has a population of 9,165 residents.