​DETROIT LAKES SAYS "NO" TO TOBACCO 21

DETROIT LAKES, MN--EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD SMOKERS GET A BREAK, AS FAR AS PURCHASING TOBACCO GOES, IN DETROIT LAKES FOR THE TIME BEING. DETROIT LAKES CITY COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST MOVING FORWARD WITH RAISING THE AGE TO PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO 21. FOLLOWING A LENGTHY PUBLIC HEARING AT THEIR REGULAR SEPTMBER MEETING TUESDAY NIGHT, THE COUNCIL VOTED 6-2 TO DO NOTHING WITH THE CITY'S CURRENT ORDINANCE WHICH FOLLOWS THE STATE STATUTE ALLOWING 18-YEAR-OLDS TO LEGALLY PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS.

OVER 30 PEOPLE SPOKE DURING THE PUBLIC HEARING. THOSE SPEAKING ESSENTIALLY CAME FROM ONE OF TWO CAMPS EITHER SUPPORTING OR NOT SUPPORTING THE ORDINANCE WHICH NOT ONLY WOULD HAVE RAISED THE PURCHASE AGE TO 21 BUT ALSO WOULD HAVE, LUMPED E-CIGARETTES IN WITH TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND PROHIBITED SMOKE LOUNGES AT E-CIG, OR VAPE, SHOPS.

THE MAJORITY OF COUNCIL MEMBERS AGREED IT'S A STATE LEVEL DECISION TO RAISE THE TOBACCO PURCHASE AGE TO 21. COUNCILMAN RON ZEMAN MADE THE MOTION TO DO NOTHING.

COUNCIL MEMBER DAN JOSEPHSON WAS FOR MOVING AHEAD WITH A TOBACCO 21 ORDINANCE. COUNCIL MEMBER BRUCE IMHOLTE AGREED WITH JOSEPHSON.

COUNCIL MEMBER BARB VOSS SECONDED THE DO NOTHING-MOTION AND THE OTHER FOUR COUNCIL MEMBERS WHO FOLLOWED SUIT INCLUDED DAN WENNER, MADALYN SUUKE, JAIME MARKS ERICKSON AND JAY SCHURMAN.

ABSENT FROM TUESDAY'S MEETING WAS COUNCIL MEMBER MATT BOEKE WHO ORIGINALLY ASKED FOR THE TOBACCO 21 ORDINANCE TO BE BROUGHT IN FRONT OF THE COUNCIL.

TOBACCO 21 ADVOCATE KAREN CRABTREE, MANAGER OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND COMMUNITY HEALTH AT ESSENTIA IN DETROIT LAKES AND COORDINATOR OF BECKER COUNTY ENERGIZE, SAYS SHE WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE COUNCIL'S VOTE.

THE TWIN CITIES SUBURBS OF EDINA AND ST. LOUIS PARK ARE THE FIRST TWO CITIES WHO ADOPTED TOBACCO 21 ORDINANCES EARLIER THIS YEAR. NO COMMUNITIES IN GREATER MINNESOTA HAVE YET PASSED SUCH ORDINANCES.

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