Tobacco Ordinance

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The Bloomington City Council put into place a new tobacco ordinance on April 26, 2021 that takes effect in 2022.


Bloomington has been a leader in putting forth strong policies and programs to protect youth against the harms of commercial tobacco products. In 2004, Bloomington was the first city in the metro to adopt a ban on smoking in public spaces including bars and restaurants, which eventually became the statewide Clean Indoor Air Act. In 2017, Bloomington was the third city in Minnesota to pass Tobacco 21, which raised the legal purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. Tobacco 21 was passed as a state law in 2020.

Through study sessions, community consultation, and thorough research of best practices for reducing youth commercial tobacco use, the City Council continued its leadership of protecting youth and marginalized communities against the harms of commercial tobacco products through bold and innovative policy action. The Council voted to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, and to sunset the availability of new tobacco retail licenses in the City, effectively reducing the number of retailers over several years.

  • Menthol and flavoring restrictions go into effect on January 1, 2022

The ordinance restricts the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes for all retailers.

  • Tobacco license restrictions goes into effect on June 30, 2022

The ordinance sets a total cap on tobacco licenses in Bloomington. When a license is not renewed, such as if a retailer closes or chooses to stop selling tobacco products, the license is permanently retired. The City of Bloomington already prohibits the transfer of a tobacco license. This “zero cap” effectively reduces the overall number of licenses over time. Existing retailers would be allowed to continue sales until the sale or transfer of ownership of a business. No new retailers would be allowed to receive a license.


The Bloomington City Council put into place a new tobacco ordinance on April 26, 2021 that takes effect in 2022.


Bloomington has been a leader in putting forth strong policies and programs to protect youth against the harms of commercial tobacco products. In 2004, Bloomington was the first city in the metro to adopt a ban on smoking in public spaces including bars and restaurants, which eventually became the statewide Clean Indoor Air Act. In 2017, Bloomington was the third city in Minnesota to pass Tobacco 21, which raised the legal purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. Tobacco 21 was passed as a state law in 2020.

Through study sessions, community consultation, and thorough research of best practices for reducing youth commercial tobacco use, the City Council continued its leadership of protecting youth and marginalized communities against the harms of commercial tobacco products through bold and innovative policy action. The Council voted to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, and to sunset the availability of new tobacco retail licenses in the City, effectively reducing the number of retailers over several years.

  • Menthol and flavoring restrictions go into effect on January 1, 2022

The ordinance restricts the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes for all retailers.

  • Tobacco license restrictions goes into effect on June 30, 2022

The ordinance sets a total cap on tobacco licenses in Bloomington. When a license is not renewed, such as if a retailer closes or chooses to stop selling tobacco products, the license is permanently retired. The City of Bloomington already prohibits the transfer of a tobacco license. This “zero cap” effectively reduces the overall number of licenses over time. Existing retailers would be allowed to continue sales until the sale or transfer of ownership of a business. No new retailers would be allowed to receive a license.

Ask a Question

Do you have a question about the tobacco ordinance or upcoming conversations regarding incentive efforts to encourage retailers to turn in their existing tobacco license early?   If so, ask it here.  Questions will go to staff to be answered and will be posted within 3 business days.  

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Page last updated: 10 September 2021, 12:43