Tobacco Ordinance Amendments

Tobacco Use Ordinance Amendments
Posted on 06/03/2020

New Hope City Council has approved ordinance amendments regulating the sale of tobacco and related devices. The amendments, created with the help of Mitchell Hamline Public Health Law Center, introduce a number of changes to the existing tobacco ordinance to both modernize the tobacco provisions and reflect the change in federal law increasing the age for legal sale of tobacco products to 21. Other notable changes include:

  • The minimum age of a clerk who is allowed to sell tobacco products has been increased to 18
  • Capping the number of tobacco licenses issued in the city to equal the total number of licenses held at the beginning of 2021
  • Prohibiting the sale of tobacco products at any retailer with an on-site pharmacy. Current license holders will keep their licenses until the end of the year, but will not be eligible for renewal.
  • Banning the sale of all flavored tobacco and related products except for mint, menthol and wintergreen
  • Removal of possession, use and purchase laws that punish people under the age of 21 attempting to purchase tobacco
  • Changing the age of those allowed to conduct compliance checks from 15-17 years of age to 17-20 years of age to align with new state polices
  • Increasing the penalty for first time license holder violations from $250-$300 in order to align with new state regulations

Tobacco use prevention options were originally presented by city staff and Hennepin County Public Health at the Citizen Advisory Commission (CAC) meeting in February 2020. At the meeting, the CAC received input from New Hope residents and business owners, and then provided a recommendation to New Hope City Council at the February work session. City staff and the city attorney worked with the Mitchell Hamline Public Health Law Center to create the ordinance, which was discussed at the May work session.

The ordinance takes effect July 2.