Some North Dakota cities may soon be following in the footsteps of 14 states that have made changes that increase the minimum tobacco purchase age.

In a report from KFYR, Tobacco Free North Dakota says it has already begun to work with several city and county commissions on tobacco purchase reform, and how it would impact those communities.

Lincoln City Commissioner Tom Volk told KFYR the commission listened to proposals from Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health about increasing the purchase age.

The minimum age for tobacco has been increased to 21 already in Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Maine and Massachusetts, as well as Washington D.C. Several other states have set dates within the next two years for the increase to go into effect. Those states include Illinois, Virginia, Delawre, Arkansas, Vermont, Maryland, Washington and Utah.

North Dakota lawmakers recently rejected a bill that would have raised the purchasing age to 19. As a result, members of TFND have begun working at the city and county levels in an effort to get more support for the proposed change.

“As more data comes out showing the effects and hopefully the benefits of those policies being put in place, then we'll have more to share and have more traction come up across North Dakota for that,” said Heather Austin, Tobacco Free North Dakota, told KFYR.


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