NEW LAW: Minnesota residents must be 21 to purchase tobacco

Consumer Health: Secondhand smoke and heart disease

(WKBT) – On August 1, 2020, the Minnesota Tobacco 21 law went into effect, requiring customers purchasing tobacco to be a minimum of 21 years old.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the law will improve health by reducing smoking and vaping. Almost 95% of adults who smoke started before they were 21. A 2015 study from the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine found that Tobacco 21 would reduce smoking initiation by 25% among 15- to 17-year-olds and by 15% among 18- to 20-year-olds.

“This law is an important step to protect Minnesota youth from the harms of commercial tobacco, and it will help prevent an addiction that often lasts long into adulthood,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

As the new law gets enforced, more current commercial tobacco users will need help to quit. Quit Partner, Minnesota’s new family of programs from the Minnesota Department of Health, offers free support – like coaching and quit medications – for quitting commercial tobacco. Quitting tobacco is difficult, but using coaching and quit medication together can more than double a person’s chance of success.