Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products
A ban on flavored tobacco products prevents retailers from selling products that have a “characterizing flavor.” Some flavor bans exempt tobacco, menthol, mint, or wintergreen flavors. Other proposals prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes, as well as mint and wintergreen smokeless tobacco products.
Flavored tobacco bans are often suggested as a way to reduce illegal underage usage or access to products, but flavor bans do not reduce or eliminate overall sales of products to legal-age adults. They simply drive legal purchases to neighboring cities, online, or to unpoliced, illicit markets.
Ultimately, flavor bans only hurt local businesses and drive business to neighboring communities.
Violations of a flavor ban may result in fines assessed to retailers and, for subsequent violations, may also include the suspension or revocation of the retailer’s license to sell cigarettes and tobacco products.
To learn more about efforts to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and arguments against such efforts, please reference the below fact sheet.