Minnesota Republican Senators Carla Nelson and Paul Anderson joined leftwing advocacy groups to call for legislation raising the minimum purchase age of Tobacco products to 21.
Morning Take reports that Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is open to the idea. The Republicans were joined by liberal Democrat State Representatives Rep. Patty Acomb and Rep. Heather Edelson at a press conference in the state capitol.
53 Minnesota cities and counties have already raised the tobacco age to 21 and the powerful ClearWay Minnesota supporting increasing it statewide.
Conservative and Libertarian groups are very skeptical of this approach. Cato Institute has pointed out that evidence for the U.S. and elsewhere shows that raising the minimum age for alcohol to 21 has had minimal impact on drinking or driving fatalities among 18-20-year-olds. They believe the tobacco legislation will also do little to improve public health.
Additional concerns include safety concerns as more 18-year-olds will now seek to get tobacco products in the black market.
Watch the full press conference below
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