ST. PAUL, Minn. – Effective November 1, the city of St. Paul is banning menthol-flavored tobacco product sales in convenience and corner stores. The city joins others in Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Duluth and Falcon Heights. The ban in Minneapolis went into effect on August 1.
A local news station reported that in 2017, the St. Paul City Council restricted sales of menthol, mint and wintergreen flavors. But under this year’s new restrictions, residents can find menthol-flavored tobacco only in adult-only tobacco and liquor stores.
More than 50 organizations in the Twin Cities supported the restrictions, according to the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Edina, St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, St. Peter, Richfield, Roseville and Minnetonka are cities that have raised the tobacco purchase age to 21.
Other places around the United States are facing the same decision. The Sacramento City Council in California will vote this month on whether to outlaw flavored tobacco within city limits, including loose-leaf varieties, vape cartridges and menthol cigarettes. According to the Sacramento Bee, the proposed ban also would bar tobacco-selling shops from opening within 1,000 feet of each other, which would thin the herd of retailers considerably. There are 305 shops currently selling tobacco products within this range of each other—79% of the total tobacco stores in the city. These shops won’t be grandfathered in when their licenses expire.