St. Paul to Vote to Restrict Tobacco Sales

The St. Paul City Council is continuing to restrict both access and the sale of tobacco products. The new direction the St. Paul City Council is taking will be one of the most restrictive tobacco ordinances in the nation, if not the most restrictive!

The St. Paul City Council is touting this as further controlling the sale of tobacco and vaping products to young people and vulnerable groups. If you recall, St. Paul has been steadily restricting the sale of tobacco products for many years. In 2009 they passed an ordinance to ban the sale of any candy that was imitating a tobacco product. In 2016 they banned the sale of flavored tobacco in convenience and liquor stores and lastly in 2019, increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Finally, there is another piece to this. They want to set a minimum mark-up on a pack of cigarettes to $10 per pack!

Click here to see an article on this issue.

The MLBA was at the table back in 2016 and were successful in allowing liquor stores to continue to sell tobacco where other stores were not allowed. We did not push back when the age of purchase was moved to 21 as what we sell in our off premise stores was and is conducive to the higher age restriction. Also, we were told throughout the process of further restrictions that these measures were put in play to curb underage purchases and access to vulnerable individuals. The glaring question is whether those measures produced the results the anti-tobacco lobbying groups and the St. Paul City Council was looking for. Where is the research that shows whether their continual measures of restrictions have worked?

This will again get brought up at this Wednesday’s (Oct. 20) council hearing. After this Wednesday’s hearing, they will be voting on this the following Wednesday for final adoption. The St. Paul City Council needs to know how seriously MLBA off-sale retailers take selling two controlled substances, tobacco and alcohol, and that we still remain the best place for those sales!  We do not sell to minors!

Below is contact information for your St. Paul City Councilmembers and the Press Release that went out today.

Tony Chesak
MLBA Executive Director


St. Paul Retailers, if you want to find out what ward your address is in, you can look it up here:

Ward 1: Councilmember Dai Thao, Phone: 651-266-8610; Email: [email protected]
Ward 2: Councilmember Rebecca Noecker, Phone: 651-266-8620; Email: [email protected]
Ward 3: Councilmember Chris Tolbert, Phone: 651-266-8630; Email: [email protected]
Ward 4: Councilmember Mitra Jalali, Phone: 651-266-8640; Email: [email protected]
Ward 5: Council President Amy Brendmoen, Phone: 651-266-8650; Email: [email protected]
Ward 6: Councilmember Nelsie Yang, Phone: 651-266-8660; Email: [email protected]
Ward 7: Councilmember Jane Prince, Phone: 651-266-8670; Email: [email protected]