Could Minneapolis Lose Millions From Menthol Ban?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study suggests Minneapolis retailers will lose millions of dollars, following a ban on menthol cigarettes.

The new data was compiled by the Coalition of Neighborhood Retailers. It shows stores will lose up to $40 million in annual sales, and nearly 1,000 jobs will be impacted. The ban also applies to wintergreen smokeless tobacco.

Officials with the Minnesota Retailers Association say many businesses will not survive the change.

“This kind of sweeping sales ban of menthol, mint and wintergreen is not survivable by many small, family-owned retail stores, and businesses will be forced to close or lay-off good, hard-working employees in an attempt to remain in business,” Minnesota Retailers Association president Bruce Nustad said.

St. Paul retailers are calling on their city council to conduct a study, before taking a final vote on a similar ordinance. This vote is scheduled for tomorrow.

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