There has been a lot of chatter lately about banning flavored tobacco product sales, including sales of menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen flavored dip.
If you’re a tobacco product retailer, read on to learn more about the potential ban and to get tips on speaking out.
> What portion of your tobacco sales are menthol products?
For most tobacco retailers, it’s about 1/3. So, imagine what would happen if your local government banned flavored tobacco sales. That may happen unless retailers like you take action to protect your business.
Possession of flavored tobacco products will still be legal, it’s the sale of those products that will be banned. Your once loyal customers may have no choice but to cross the border into the neighboring city or state to buy their menthol cigarettes or wintergreen dip.
People supporting the ban claim menthol cigarettes entice youth to smoke. But cigarettes are age-restricted products just like alcohol, and we know you take preventing illegal sales to minors seriously. The vast majority of youth acquire cigarettes through social sources like an older sibling or legal-age-to-purchase friend, not at retail. So banning menthol sales only serves to inconvenience your adult customers who smoke. Enforcing existing laws would go a long way toward preventing youth from smoking instead of a menthol sales ban.
Menthol now finds itself under fire again, and without action, your menthol cigarettes sales may become a thing of the past.
> Inform Your Customers about Potential Menthol Sales Bans
Your customers form the foundation of your business. Without them you have no business, and you want them to wear out the hinges on your front door. Just like you, they’re adults who don’t want to be inconvenienced by a menthol cigarette sales ban.
When a customer purchases menthol cigarettes or mint dip, you can inform them about plans to ban menthol cigarette sales. Let them know you share their concerns. Take action through Own It Voice It, and encourage them to do the same. The more voices that express concern, the greater the chances of preventing a menthol sales ban.
> Stay Informed about Public Hearings or Votes
In addition to signing up for Own It Voice It alerts, keep your eyes and ears on local media reports. Local news outlets do a good job of tracking the menthol sales ban, so it pays to read or listen to the local news to stay informed about upcoming public hearings or votes.
Take action early, stay informed and attend any public hearings on these issues to voice your opinion on the menthol cigarette ban.
Use your voice.
We know retailers like you are concerned about a menthol cigarette sales ban, but you have the chance to make a difference.
Fill out the form below with your zip code and email, and we’ll do our best to update you if legislation in your area begins to move toward a ban.
For more, check out our related articles:
> Flavor Bans: Why they matter and how to stop them
> Talking to adult customers about tobacco price increases doesn’t have to be hard.