House votes to ban sale of menthol cigarettes, all flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Massachusetts became the first state to ban vaping products just under two months ago and now the state is looking to expand that list to all flavored tobacco products.

On Wednesday, the State’s House of Representatives voted to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes.

David Glantz owner of Buckeye Bros. Smoke Shop said menthol cigarettes have grown in popularity over the past few years, especially in Springfield.

“I’d say menthol cigarettes is probably 80% of my sales in terms of cigarettes,” Glantz said.

Glantz said this ban would not only affect convenience stores, but it could also have a trickle-down effect on other businesses.

He said if the bill passes residents will look for other ways to get flavored tobacco, which could result in the state losing out on revenue from other products as well.

“Obviously they might go over the state line and get their alcohol over the state line while getting their menthol as well. Down the line, they’ll lose that tax revenue and raise taxes on something else.”

According to the statehouse chair of the Public Health Committee, 9,300 adults in the state die each year of smoking.

Businesses that don’t comply with the bill’s provisions could have their lottery licenses temporarily suspended.

The bill will now be passed to the senate.

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