On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21-years-old. The increase was part of an omnibus health and human services finance bill, HF 2414, which includes a wide array of budget and health care issues.

The bill that passed the House was sponsored by Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, and cleared by a 74-55 vote. The version the Senate will consider is sponsored by Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake.

It’s a rather unique approach to getting the increase through the legislative process, especially considering that a separate bill, H.F. 331, had also been introduced and seemed to be getting support.

Should the bill pass both chambers and be signed by the governor, the increase would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Minnesota would join a growing list of states to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old. Currently, 11 states have passed similar increase, while two more are awaiting the signature of their governors and several others have active legislation under consideration.


Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.