Letter: City’s tobacco priorities are askew


To the editor:

As a longtime Bloomington resident and Bloomington-based wholesale tobacco distributor, I assist the retailers who’re mad as hell concerning the metropolis’s proposed flavored tobacco ban and usually are not going to take it anymore.

Retailers have put up giant indicators questioning why the council would even contemplate the Bloomington Board of Well being’s advice to ban all authorized flavored tobacco merchandise.

These hardworking retailers know their very existence is at stake and they don’t seem to be the issue. Quite, retailers are a scapegoat for the Board of Well being’s excessive whole ban.

The actual issues are with youth vaping and youth consuming. A 2019 Minnesota Well being Division survey exhibits that almost 17% of Bloomington Eleventh-graders vape and that 26% drink. The identical survey confirmed that lower than 4 p.c of excessive schoolers had been smoking or utilizing tobacco. Why is a tobacco ban being thought of? Why not simply concentrate on vaping merchandise? And what concerning the youth consuming downside?

If the well being board and council are counting on youth vaping numbers to ban all flavored tobacco merchandise, then they need to additionally suggest banning each type of flavored alcohol. The regulation doesn’t tolerate hypocrisy.

This ban can even outcome within the metropolis and faculty district accumulating much less in property taxes as a result of shops will likely be devalued. The devaluation will likely be magnified as a result of a present proprietor would even be prohibited from transferring the tobacco license to a brand new proprietor.

To concentrate on the true downside, the council ought to broaden on what the Meals and Drug Administration did in 2020. The FDA banned flavored pod-based digital cigarettes (besides tobacco and menthol flavors most well-liked by adults) as a result of these e-cigarettes had been engaging to youth. What the FDA didn’t do, and town ought to contemplate doing, is banning flavored disposable e-cigarettes, (besides tobacco and menthol,) as a result of these disposables are what the children turned to when pod-based e-cigarettes had been banned.

Ross Amundson


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