MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Soon, you may need to be at least 21 years old to buy tobacco in St. Louis Park.

According to city officials, the city is poised to increase the legal age from 18 years old to 21 years old.

On Monday, the St. Louis Park City Council approved by a 6-1 vote on the first reading of the ordinance, which raise the age and also increase administrative fines for violation of the ordinance.

“I initiated this discussion because it so well documented that people are more likely to develop a smoking habit if they start as teenagers,” Councilmember Susan Sanger said. “Smoking contributes significantly to many health issues, both for the smoker and those around them. Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 is a very sensible and easy-to-enforce way to address this serious public health issue.”

Councilmember Steve Hallfin voted against the ordinance.

“I abhor tobacco products, but this ordinance is misguided,” Hallfin said. “An 18 year old is considered an adult and can be a property owner, get married and go to war – I can’t see refusing to sell tobacco to them.”

A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for July 17 and if the ordinance passes, it will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2017.

The move would make St. Louis Park the second city in Minnesota to enact such an ordinance.

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