St. Paul City Council Introduces New Tobacco Sale Restrictions

In early October, the St. Paul City Council regarded an ordinance that would develop new restrictions on tobacco and vape sales, setting a $ten minimal price on a pack of cigarettes, banning discount coupons and other retail discounts, and steadily decreasing the range of tobacco retail licenses in the town, […]

In early October, the St. Paul City Council regarded an ordinance that would develop new restrictions on tobacco and vape sales, setting a $ten minimal price on a pack of cigarettes, banning discount coupons and other retail discounts, and steadily decreasing the range of tobacco retail licenses in the town, between other items. If enacted, the ordinance would create some of the toughest tobacco restrictions in the nation in St. Paul. 

The council drafted the ordinance in partnership with the St.Paul–based nonprofit Affiliation of Non-Smokers. Councilmember Nelsie Yang pointed to the tobacco industry’s concentrating on of people of colour and functioning class communities as a motive to tighten restrictions. The ordinance would also set a distance between tobacco shops of at minimum one 50 percent-mile. 

“I feel about my have lived encounters, increasing up in middle college, significant college, and seeing my have classmates commence smoking cigarettes at a truly younger age, many of them currently being people of colour,” explained Yang, who represents Ward six on St. Paul’s east facet. “This is about having again our community, and guaranteeing that they can reside in a community that is thriving in terms of wellbeing, in terms of currently being in a position to wander down the avenue and to not see so many tobacco shops all about you, and to be in a position to reside in a dignified community over-all.”

The ordinance would also increase the penalties for offering tobacco to individuals underneath 21, from $two hundred to $500 for a very first-time offense and from $400 to $1,000 for a second-time offense, and prohibit liquor retailers from offering flavored tobacco goods, including menthol. These provisions are aimed in portion at curbing smoking cigarettes and vaping between younger people: While cigarette use between significant schoolers declined considerably from 9.six p.c in 2017 to three.2 p.c in 2020, vaping—using e-cigarettes—among teenagers has greater steeply considering that 2016. (Having said that, teen vaping plummeted all through the pandemic with college closures.)

Minnesota has a prolonged historical past of comprehensive tobacco manage, setting up with the Affiliation of Non-Smoker’s founding in 1973 and the very first “D-Day” (Never Smoke Working day) in Monticello in 1974. St. Paul founded by itself as a chief on tobacco manage with its 2004 indoor smoking cigarettes ban. 

There are some precedents for the ordinance’s proposed restrictions: New York City has a cigarette pack price minimal of $thirteen, and the town council of Providence, Rhode Island, banned each flavored tobacco goods and discounts. But the qualified prospects of several retail trade associations submitted a letter to the council expressing their worries that there isn’t sufficient proof that the proposed restrictions really get the job done to lessen smoking cigarettes prices. They requested that the minimal cigarette price and lower price provisions of the ordinance be eradicated. 

“When was the previous time that you noticed an underage youth attempt to use a coupon to order any product, allow by yourself cigarettes? This simply does not happen. All this provision will do is raise the value of lawful tobacco goods to St. Paul people,” wrote the letter’s authors, who say they’re also concerned that a $ten price minimal will hurt reduced-money people.

St. Paul’s new tobacco ordinance is set for a general public listening to October 20, followed by an October 27 vote. Having said that, all seven town councilmembers have signed on as co-sponsors, suggesting that the ordinance is just about confirmed to move.

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