Pride will no longer sell flavored tobacco products

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Pride Stores will no longer be selling flavored tobacco products.

Pride will be taking all flavored rolling papers, cigars, and smokeless tobacco off the shelves. The western-Massachusetts based company has never carried vaping products at their stores.

Pride President Marsha Del Monte told 22News as a family-friendly business, the decision to stop selling flavored tobacco products was easy because they feel so many of the products are marketed toward kids.

“We actually sell quite a bit of the product, which I’m sure isn’t surprising,” she said. “But when we decided to take it off the shelves, we didn’t even factor that into the equation. We just knew it was something we had to do.”

The announcement was made at Pride headquarters Friday morning during a news conference with Senator Eric Lesser.

“I really want to applaud them for that decision,” Lesser said. “Flavored tobacco products are geared toward children we know and the evidence shows that young children are getting hooked on tobacco because of these flavored products.”

Lesser said the move is a great example of how local businesses can step up to make a real difference.

“My hope is that this is going to catalyze other stores to say, ‘You know what? If Pride did it, we can do it’ so the hope is that this is a domino effect that is going to lead to these very dangerous products taken off the shelves.”

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