The St. Paul City Council passed a series of restrictions on tobacco sales Wednesday including setting a citywide $10 minimum price for a pack of cigarettes.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance, which has been described as one of the strictest tobacco ordinances in the country. Mayor Melvin Carter has indicated that he plans to sign it into law.

"In my mind, this is really a step forward for our young people," said Council Member Rebecca Noecker. "This is just another form of supporting our young people and preparing them to be healthy adults."

Along with the $10 minimum, the ordinance bans the use of coupons for tobacco and vaping products. The average price per pack is $9.57 in Minnesota, according to the state Commerce Department.

The ordinance also reduces the number of available tobacco licenses in the city, stops liquor stores from selling menthol products and increases penalties for retailers who violate local laws.

With the new rules in place, the number of tobacco sellers in St. Paul is expected to decline significantly over time. Right now, 190 retailers have traditional tobacco licenses and 39 others are considered tobacco product shops, holding a specialty license for businesses that make at least 90% of their revenue from tobacco.

The city will now limit the number of licenses it permits to 150 traditional licenses and 25 tobacco product shops. Current license holders could continue selling tobacco, but businesses seeking new licenses will not be able to get them until others relinquish theirs.

Council Member Jane Prince said the ordinance is a response to community groups including young people, the faith community and health care professionals who sought more limits on tobacco.

"It really is a powerful coalition that came to us and asked us to provide this leadership," Prince said.

Shannon Prather and Katie Galioto contributed to this report.