Effective Aug. 1, 2020, the statewide tobacco sale age will change to 21.

Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation recognizes the landmark Tobacco 21 law, which is the result of broad efforts from bipartisan leaders, local communities and a nationwide movement to protect kids.

“Minnesota’s Tobacco 21 movement began with a few concerned residents and physicians and ultimately gained the support of more than 75 communities, thousands of youth and parents and lawmakers from all over the state,” said Molly Moilanen, vice-president at ClearWay Minnesota and co-chair of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation. “Tobacco 21 is not the last step – but it’s an important first step toward preventing youth tobacco addiction.”

Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of more than 60 organizations that share a common goal of reducing youth tobacco use and ending commercial tobacco’s harm for good. 

The coalition is united behind four major policies that reduce youth smoking and nicotine addiction, including raising the tobacco sale age to 21, increasing tobacco prices, prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products and investing in prevention programs.

Minnesota’s Tobacco 21 law gained strong bipartisan support in both chambers and was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz. The state law follows federal action to raise the tobacco age.

In December 2019, the U.S. Congress made the federal tobacco age 21, and it immediately went into effect. The law aims to ensure strong compliance and enforcement of Tobacco 21.

The goal of Tobacco 21 is to stop tobacco addiction before it starts.

ClearWay Minnesota funds the majority of the state’s spending on tobacco prevention and will sunset in 2021.

Minnesotans can call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit quitpartnermn.com to access free services, support and medication.

- Image courtesy of the ClearWay Minnesota Web site