Age to Purchase Tobacco in EP Changed

At their December 4, 2018 meeting, the Eden Prairie City Council voted to change the age to purchase tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, in Eden Prairie to 21, effective Feb. 1, 2019.

Although state law puts the tobacco purchase age at 18, individual cities can vote to make the age requirement more restrictive. Eden Prairie joins other communities in the Twin Cities raising the purchase age including Edina, Bloomington, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Richfield, Plymouth and Minneapolis.

There are several reasons why communities are raising the age to purchase tobacco products. Almost 95 percent of addicted adult smokers started smoking by age 21. Increasing the age gap between kids and those who can legally buy tobacco helps remove access to tobacco products from the high school environment.

It is predicted that raising the tobacco age to 21 will result in a 25-percent reduction in smoking initiation among 15–17-year-olds, which is the equivalent of 30,000 fewer young smokers in Minnesota.

Eden Prairie has 23 establishments licensed to sell tobacco. All but eight of those locations have an additional store or stores in a city with an age requirement of 21.

The EPPD issues licenses to establishments wishing to sell tobacco in Eden Prairie after they meet certain criteria. The department also conducts regular enforcement checks as required by state law.

The EPPD is working closely with these establishments on the new change including providing in-store signage.