Falcon Heights sets minimum age to sell tobacco products

If you are under 18 in Falcon Heights you can’t buy or sell tobacco or electronic smoking products.

On Jan. 22, the Falcon Heights City Council voted unanimously to institute a minimum age of 18 for anyone selling tobacco or tobacco-related products and electronic smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes. The ordinance also put e-cigarettes under the same regulations as tobacco products.

Mayor Pete Lindstrom said the city’s action “eliminates the pressure a 16- or 17-year-old feels when approached by another underage person looking to buy. This is a common-sense fix that we unanimously adopted.”

Under the new ordinance, retailers selling electronic delivery devices must submit to periodic compliance checks, cannot allow self-service for electronic devices and are no longer allowed to display the products in a public area of their stores.

“We’ve seen a big increase in e-cigarette businesses wanting to set up shop in the city,” Lindstrom said. “We learned that the safety of e-cigarettes is unknown and that they’re not regulated at all at the federal level. We thought that they should be regulated at the local level in the same manner as cigarettes.”

Falcon Heights’ new ordinance setting an age limit on tobacco and e-cigarette sales is one of the strongest in the state, according to the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition. The changes to the city’s ordinance pertaining to tobacco sales went into effect on Jan. 22.

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