Now, flavored tobacco products, including menthol, will be sold in adult-only tobacco stores. The council also voted to update the tobacco ordinance to meet state requirements that raise the tobacco sales age to 21.
Flavored tobacco products are especially popular with young people; a study released in October of 2019 revealed a jump in the rate of teens vaping in Minnesota. Starting in 2017, youth tobacco use started trending upwards for the first time in 17 years, largely due to e-cigarette and flavored cigar use.
“I would be much happier if the state would take this on as a statewide issue,” said Fridley Mayor Scott Lund. “I have turned from thinking it’s an overreach, but I think we owe it, as council persons, to help our city, and this is a help to our young people.”
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Fridley is the 17th Minnesota community to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco and the 12th to also restrict the sale of menthol. Other cities which have taken on these changes include Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth.