Twin Cities suburb expected to make tobacco buying age 21

A Twin Cities suburb is poised to become the first city in Minnesota to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the Edina City Council is expected to approve the measure Tuesday evening.

Edina Mayor Jim Hovland says the measure is comparative to the move to eliminate smoking in public places, which began at the local level and trickled up to the Legislature. Hovland says the proposed ordinance has broad community support in Edina.

National Association of Tobacco Outlets executive director Tom Briant says he is convinced the ordinance won’t curb youth tobacco use because people simply will drive to stores in nearby communities to buy what they want. He says retailers will lose about 5 percent of their tobacco sales.