Senator Simonson Votes to Raise Age to Buy Tobacco to 21

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota will become the latest state to raise the minimum age for tobacco products to 21 thanks to legislation passed Wednesday. Though it had become federal law on December 21, 2019, passage of HF 331 codifies it in state law, providing clarity to retailers and consumers.

“Raising the age to buy tobacco to 21 has been a priority of mine since first being elected to the legislature. I’m proud that today we are putting the health of young Minnesotans first by curtailing access to dangerous tobacco products,” said Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth), a co-author on the bipartisan legislation. “While Minnesota has made progress in cutting our smoking rates, we know much work remains in addressing the youth vaping epidemic. It’s important that we continue our work in keeping our air clean and protecting Minnesotans from the dangers of smoking and addiction.”

In addition to raising the minimum age required to legally purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, the bill updates state tobacco definitions, compliance checks, and updates state penalties to follow federal law and best practices including an increase of fines for tobacco licensees that violate the law.

Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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