Duluth City Council To Have First Read For Possible Tobacco Flavored Products Ban

If this ordinance does pass businesses would be given a 120 day notice to comply.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth City Council will have the first reading of an ordinance that could ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in convenience stores.

Staff at the Piedmont Milk House in Duluth say they don’t want to sell flavored tobacco products to minors, but don’t agree with the city picking and choosing who can and can not sell those products.

The store owner doesn’t see how banning a product in the city will work when people can just go to the next city and buy the flavored tobacco products.

He says the ban of these items could have a snowball effect.

“You come here you buy your cigarettes, you’re going to get your gas, your milk, your pop and if you’re forced to go somewhere else, you may like me, but you’re not going to stop here to get everything else and then go somewhere else and get your cigarettes,” said Piedmont Milk House Owner Andy Verhel. “Wherever you get your cigarettes is where you’re going to be buying your gas, milk and other products.”

The City Council has been working on this ordinance for about six months. The councilors who introduced it want it to pass because of health concerns for minors.

“We’re going to go a long way with eliminating cigarette smoking,” said Duluth City Councilor Barb Russ. “It’s still a killer in this country. I’m not sure what the percentage is, but people are dying every day from the bad habit of smoking cigarettes.”

If this ordinance does pass businesses would be given a 120 day notice to comply.

Under the ordinance customers would still be able to buy flavored tobacco products from adult only smoke shops.

In other City Council News 

The Duluth City Council is looking at passing a resolution that would inject about $2 million dollars into a renovation project at city hall.

Most of the renovations will focus on keeping everything functional which includes electrical work and reworking some of the office spaces.

Each year the city has a capital budget which is set aside for maintaining its buildings.

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