Tobacco 21

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Raising the Minimum Sale Age of Tobacco to 21:

Crave the Change focuses on initiatives which could make a huge difference for the health of people in Central Minnesota.

Crave the Change is working with the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) to raise awareness of the benefits of raising the minimum sale age of tobacco to 21. This lifesaving measure is gaining momentum nationwide and we want to advance efforts here in Central Minnesota.

Raising the sale age for tobacco products to 21 can help keep thousands of teenagers from starting to smoke. In fact, nearly 95% of current addicted adult smokers started by age 21.

Raising the tobacco age to 21 will help keep tobacco products out of the hands of teens, while there are plenty of 18 year olds in high school there aren’t any 21-year old students. Studies show that many younger teens get tobacco products from older teens in their social circles. Let’s break this cycle.

Already nearly 300 cities and counties across the country, including Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis, and two states, California and Hawaii, have raised the tobacco age to 21. Including Edina, right here in Minnesota!


“That’s 30,000 Minnesota kids over the next 15 years who will not become addicted. That would be impressive,” ClearWay’s Anne Mason said in an interview. “It takes it out of a high school kid’s social circle. … If (tobacco companies) don’t get to you before age 21, chances are you won’t become an addicted adult.”


Tobacco 21 Fast Facts:

  • There would be a 25% reduction in 15-to-17-year-olds starting to smoke if the tobacco age was raised to 21. (link)
  • If all states were to raise the tobacco age to 21, there would be a 12% decrease in cigarette smoking prevalence across the nation by 2100. This would translate into nearly 250,000 fewer premature deaths from cigarette smoking among people born between 2000 and 2019 (link)
  • Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will prevent 30,000 Minnesota kids from becoming smokers over the next 15 years. (link)
  • A large majority of adults – 75% – support raising the age to 21. (link)
  • Even 70% of smokers are in support of raising the minimum legal age. (link)
  • Needham Massachusetts found that tobacco use among high-school students fell by nearly half after raising the age to 21. (link)



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Do you support raising the tobacco age to 21? Connect with us today and learn how you can get involved in efforts to continue the Tobacco 21 momentum in Minnesota!