St. Peter City Council Votes to Protect Future Generations from Tobacco Disease, Addiction
(May 29, 2018) -
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A re-vote by the St. Peter City Council on Tobacco 21, a proposed ordinance that will raise the age of purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, passed tonight with a vote of 4-3.
The St. Peter City Council initially voted on the Tobacco 21 ordinance on April 24, but the vote resulted in a tie because one of the council members was unable to attend.
“Today we celebrate a win for the fight against lung disease and tobacco addiction,” said Erin Simmons, senior manager of tobacco control for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. “Seeing all of these students and young adults come together for such an important law gives me hope for a smokefree generation here in Minnesota.”
Since 95 percent of adult smokers began before the age of 21, the Tobacco 21 ordinance focuses on protecting youth from disease associated with tobacco use. Here in Minnesota, 26.4 percent of high schoolers have recently used some form of tobacco or nicotine. Tobacco 21 bans sales of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which has seen an increase in high school students by 50 percent in the last four years in Minnesota. By decreasing the smoking rate, Tobacco 21 will save our youth from nicotine addiction and save billions in healthcare costs.
To date, six Minnesota cities have passed ordinances raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21; St. Peter, North Mankato, Edina, St Louis Park, Bloomington and Plymouth. Across the U.S., more than 290 communities and five states have also passed Tobacco 21.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.