A proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternative products received the narrow approval of the Waseca City Council on Tuesday, as the council voted 4-3 in favor of the increase.
While an effective date was not included in the ordinance posted for review, a report from KEYC.com indicates that the increase is scheduled to go into effect in three months, which would be around March 18, 2019. Retailers will be given the time to update signage and train staff on the new requirement. As with the current law, anyone who sells or gives away tobacco products to a person under 21-years-old will face a misdemeanor charge.
Minnesota now has more than 20 cities and municipalities that have passed increases that have become known as Tobacco 21 ordinances, including Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Mendota Heights, Brooklyn Center and Hermantown. Pope County just passed a similar increase earlier this month, as did Eden Prairie.
Waseca is home to an estimated 9,000 residents and is located approximately 75 miles south of Minneapolis.