Nobles County passes tobacco ordinance with limits on sales of flavored products – The Globe


WORTHINGTON — In an effort to stop young people from vaping, the Nobles County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 Tuesday on a tobacco ordinance update that limits sales of flavored tobacco products.

Menthol, mint and wintergreen products are exempt from the flavored products section of the ordinance.

Stores that derive 90% of their revenue from tobacco products are also exempt, as are licensed bars and liquor stores, and can sell flavored items.

Tony Hastings, who will be principal of Worthington High School from July 1, and Cate Koehne, principal of Adrian Middle/High School, have come out in favor of limiting sales of flavored products.

Houston Coleman, co-owner of The Station, a tobacco store in Worthington, said he was fine with the flavor ban, noting his business would not be affected and stressing that they checked everyone’s identity. those who enter anyway. He suggested that a half percent tax on items, with the money raised to educate people about vaping, might be a better way to tackle the problem.

Jesse Raudenbush, co-owner and general manager of Steve’s Holiday in Worthington, also said his company was diligent about identity verification, but felt the issue of youth vaping would be better addressed with tougher penalties for those who sell to minors as well as those who break the law. by owning vaping accessories while underage.

Koehne, Hastings, and Nobles County Sheriff Ryan Kruger noted how difficult it is to catch minors vaping because the objects involved are so small and don’t produce the smell of tobacco.

Commissioner Justin Ahlers was the council’s dissenting vote.

In other news Tuesday, the council:

  • Agreed to prepare a resolution to designate all of the county’s $4.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act money as lost revenue in preparation for an upcoming meeting to determine how to allocate it.
  • Accepted a Help America Vote Act Voting Equipment Grant for $24,608.07 from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.
  • Approval of an agreement with New Life Treatment Center, which is working on a proof of concept project for the future regional short-term crisis residential facility. New Life will be reimbursed $100 per hour for its work, not to exceed $10,000 in total.
  • Approved a System Administrator position for the County Information Technology Department.
  • Joined other Minnesota counties in proclaiming April 26 County Government Appreciation Day.
  • Chose to keep the electoral districts unchanged following a public hearing on redistricting.


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