Minnesota now has its 10th city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21-years-old, as on Tuesday night the Richfield City Council unanimously approved what has come to be known as a Tobacco 21 ordinance.
The ordinance also gets rid of what are referred to as PUP laws, or purchase, use and possession, with the city saying they ineffective in deterring tobacco use. That means that a person under 21 years old will not be cited for purchasing, using or possessing tobacco; rather, in the case of purchasing, the burden falls on the retailer. There is a provision for using a false identification to obtain tobacco products, however.
During the debate over the proposal, it was proposed that e-cigarettes be excluded from the age increase on the grounds that they were cessation devices, though the idea was rejected by a 3-2 vote.
The increase goes into effect immediately.
Richfield joins Minneapolis, Edina, North Mankato, St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, and St. Peter in having raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. It is home to approximately 36,000 residents and located 10 miles south of Minneapolis.