Letter: Flavored tobacco ban would be bad…


On this Jan. 12, 2016, file photograph, a lady purchases a Powerball ticket from Leadbetter’s Mini Cease in Bangor. Credit score: Micky Bedell / BDN

In an effort to limit entry to flavored tobacco merchandise, metropolis leaders are  contemplating a misguided transfer that will get rid of these merchandise from retailer cabinets. To the uninformed, this will likely look like a worthwhile concept; nevertheless, the information don’t assist the coverage.

My brothers and I’ve operated comfort shops in Bangor for 26 years. We now have eight shops and make use of 85 folks. Anti-tobacco advocates declare younger folks get vapes, cigarettes and chew from shops like ours. Not true. With a 94.5 p.c Meals and Drug Administration compliance fee, it’s clear tobacco retailers in Bangor aren’t promoting on to underage youth.

Past our moral obligation to guard younger folks from age-restricted merchandise, the penalty for promoting to minors is steep, starting from hefty fines to lack of license. Tobacco represents near 40 p.c of our enterprise, so the danger is simply too excessive to not take it significantly. We’ve invested hundreds of {dollars} in age-verification expertise to make sure we’re compliant with the regulation and we’ve a zero-tolerance coverage if any worker knowingly sells a tobacco product to a minor. Fortuitously, it by no means occurs.

Not solely will a ban decimate greater than 40 native companies, however I believe it would even have completely no impression on youth vaping. They’ll drive over metropolis strains, purchase from adults keen to interrupt the regulation or log on. If councilors actually consider Bangor has an issue, they need to put money into schooling. Focusing on law-abiding, accountable retailers with no historical past of promoting to minors is irresponsible and damaging.

Jeff Leadbetter


Leadbetter’s Tremendous Stops


Election discover: The BDN will cease accepting letters and columns associated to the Nov. 2 election on Monday, Oct. 25. Not all submissions may be revealed.

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