Duluth City Council passes flavored tobacco ordinance - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Duluth City Council passes flavored tobacco ordinance

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DULUTH, MN -

The Duluth City Council Monday passed an ordinance which bans the sale of flavored tobacco products in certain stores. 

The ordinance will require flavored products to only be sold in 18-plus stores, like smoke shops. 

The ordinance passed 7-2, with Councilors Noah Hobbs and Jay Fosle opposing. 

There was passion on both sides of this proposal Monday night as health advocates, parents, and children stood up to argue that flavored tobacco is a gateway for youth to a lifetime of addiction to smoking.

Business owners argued that smoking and purchasing products is a choice that shouldn't be taken away from consumers. 

Supporters of the ordinance hope it will make it harder for young people to have access to the products. While convenience store owners say the plan will cause a big hit to their bottom line.

Councilors expressed that convenient stores would need to adapt to these changes. 

The topic has been controversial since it came to light earlier this year. Councilors Russ and Filipovich set the ordinance in motion in hopes of making it more difficult for people under 18 to access flavored tobacco products.

Business owners argue staff ID's everyone and if they want to keep the products out of high schools to raise the purchasing age to 21. 

All of the councilors had their words to say about the ordinance, some such as Councilor Westerlund expressing how they can't put a dollar amount of economic revenue on the health of children and others who choose to consume these products.

Others such as Councilor Fosle say, changing where people can buy these products won't stop them from accessing them. 

Many councilors said they hope to see this issue be taken up at a state level and eventually banned statewide.

Duluth is the third city in Minnesota to restrict access to flavored tobacco products. 

No word yet on when the restriction will be put in place. 

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