ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker wants to bump up Minnesota's smoking age to 21 in an effort to lower the number teenage smokers.

A bill introduced Thursday would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco in Minnesota from 18 to 21. The bill was brought to the Legislature days after Edina became the first city in the state to increase the legal age for tobacco consumption to 21.

Rochester Sen. Carla Nelson says it would be easier to tackle teen smoking rates on a statewide basis rather than with a patchwork of individual city's efforts. It would make Minnesota the third state to raise its smoking age, joining California and Hawaii.

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