St. Louis County Board to set legal tobacco age at 21

The updated ordinance would fall in line with the law of the land, which was implemented by the Trump Administration mandate in December.

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The St. Louis County Board will vote to bring the county tobacco ordinance in line with the law of the land this week.

On Tuesday in Hibbing, the St. Louis County Board is expected to approve an updated tobacco ordinance, squaring with federal legislation adopted in December which raised the legal age to buy and use tobacco to 21.

The updated ordinance will, in turn, prohibit sales of tobacco to anyone considered under 21, or "underage buyers," as worded in the proposal.

"We're simply updating our ordinance to be in line with a change in federal legislation enacted last December," Board Chair Mike Jugovich said. "The board vote is happening now due to the time needed to notify license holders and to publicly announce the meeting.”

The board proposal noted that all tobacco-sales license holders have been notified, and that notices have been posted at tobacco-dealers for the past 10 days.


"On December 20, 2019, the president signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years," the proposal said. "On that same day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared that it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under the age of 21."

The St. Louis County Liquor Licensing Committee met on Jan. 16, and unanimously recommended that the St. Louis County Board amend "Tobacco Ordinance" to change the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco-related devices from 18 to 21, the proposal says.

The St. Louis County Board meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hibbing City Hall, 401 21st St. E.

This story originally contained a misspelling of Mike Jugovich’s name. It was updated at 4:40 p.m. Feb. 24 with the proper spelling. It also incorrectly identified the means by which the legal age limit for tobacco sales was generated. The story was updated at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 to to reflect that the limit was changed by federal legislation. It was originally posted at 3:06 p.m. Feb. 24. The News Tribune regrets the errors.

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