MINNEAPOLIS -- To the misfortune of convenience-store retailers, the prospect of a ban on menthol cigarettes seems to be catching fire, as the issue re-emerged in the San Francisco area last month and has surfaced now in Minneapolis.
Council members Cam Gordon and Lisa Bender introduced a proposal June 16 to add menthol or mint flavored tobacco to the existing list of flavors banned in the city, according to the Minnesota Daily.
The news outlet reported that area activists have been working to ban menthol for years but the flavor’s popularity has made progress difficult, said Betsy Brock, research director for the Association of Nonsmokers–Minnesota. The association teamed up with Minneapolis’ Northpoint Health and Wellness Center to conduct research, education and outreach initiatives to get the policy to the city council, Brock said.
Tom Briant, executive director of Minneapolis-based NATO, said the association is already working with local convenience stores and gas stations to resist the ban. Some owners will start hanging protest banners at their stores and are stocking up on fliers to raise awareness of the financial effects the ordinance could have, Briant told the news outlet.