Bloomington city council to vote on raising tobacco age to 21

More than 200 cities across the country have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products, and Bloomington, Minnesota could be the next to join that list. 

The city council will vote Monday on a proposal to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products. If approved, Bloomington would be the third city in the metro area to increase tobacco sales from age 18 to 21. 

The changes are part of a growing trend to decrease youth smoking. In May, Edina became the first city to raise the sales age. St. Louis Park followed suit in July. 

Several other Minnesota cities, including St. Cloud, are considering similar changes. 

Last week, St. Paul approved a ban on menthol tobacco products at gas stations and convenience stores. That means people will only be able to get menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco at smoke shops and liquor stores. 

There is even a statewide proposal to curb teen smokers by raising the smoking age to 21. Supporters say, raising the sales age to 21 means children under 18 are less likely to develop a smoking habit.

The Bloomington City Council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall.