On Monday night, the St. Cloud City Council voted 4-3 to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old, but the increase is set for a showdown with the mayor, who vetoed it on Tuesday morning.
Mayor Dave Kleis came out early in opposition of the increase, calling it an issue of commerce that should be decided at the state level, not by individual cities. “This is not preventing anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 from smoking,” Kleis said, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio. “That can only be done by the state. This is preventing somebody from purchasing a legal product that the state has determined is a legal product.”
On Tuesday morning, the mayor officially vetoed the increase, according to KNSIRadio.com.
The increase now heads back to the council, where it would take five of the seven members giving their support in order to override the veto.
Currently, two cities in Minnesota have passed age increases for tobacco, Edina and St. Louis Park, both of which are in the greater Minneapolis area. St. Cloud would be the first outside of that area to approve an increase, as it is located approximately 66 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
St. Cloud is home to nearly 68,000 residents, making it the 10th largest city in Minnesota.