Tobacco 21

April 16, 2019  | Patti Miller | SACK Coordinator

Tobacco 21. What do you know about raising the legal age to purchase tobacco/nicotine to age 21? Maybe you have heard that recently Isanti County passed a county wide ordinance that prevents the sale of tobacco to those under the age of 21. Do we all agree? No. However, would the answer change if there people were more educated on the reason behind the push? Maybe! Kanabec County Community Health and the Substance Abuse Coalition of Kanabec County (SACK) Here is some insight into how public health and some community coalitions view tobacco 21. 

Public Health agencies across the nation work to prevent illness, provide health equity and use evidence-based strategies to create wellness in their communities. Community coalitions, advocacy groups and other key partners work together to create awareness and increase knowledge about the effects of tobacco and nicotine use in young adults (and others) as a primary prevention strategy. 

Based on the premise of primary prevention, public health agencies know from research that raising the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 greatly reduces youth tobacco use and prevents youth from smoking. Studies have shown nearly all tobacco use starts before the age of 21. We know from scientific research that brain development is not complete until our mid-twenties and development can be impaired by substance use, including tobacco and nicotine. 

We know that the tobacco industry is heavily marketing to our youth, they are the next generation of tobacco/nicotine consumers. Student survey’s across the state show an increase in vaping by upwards of 30%. Public Health initiatives like Tobacco 21 aim to reduce disease, health care costs and increase wellness in future generations. 

Did you know that in Minnesota thirty-one communities have raised the minimum sale age for tobacco products to 21, including 26 cities and five counties. Nationally, more than 450 cities and counties in 26 states have adopted the the tobacco 21 policy. States that have raised their minimum tobacco sale age to 21 include: California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, and Oregon.

Want to learn more? Here are some links to local and national information and resources. Have questions, feel free to contact me: Patti Miller 320-679-6321 or

Links & Information:

Click on picture to view larger.

Minnesota Department of Health Tobacco 21

Minnesota Department of Health: Risks of Nicotine for Youth

Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products (Institute of Medicine)

Three out of four American adults favor making 21 the minimum age of sale for tobacco products (Center for Disease Control)



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Posted in News/Announcements, Tobacco.