To the editor:
Of their haste to get a deal with on youth vaping in faculties, the Bloomington Public Well being Division is taking a sledgehammer strategy to an issue that must be solved with a scalpel.
The state of Minnesota has already raised the age to 21 to buy tobacco merchandise. Final February the FDA banned the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes. As a part of the COVID-19 reduction invoice handed by Congress final December, all web gross sales of digital and nicotine vapor merchandise now require the signature of an grownup 21 or older. The brand new regulation additionally prohibits the U.S. Postal Service from delivering these merchandise.
The Bloomington division of well being has been engaged on an ordinance that may basically put small, native, unbiased tobacco retailer house owners out of enterprise. Throughout this time nobody from the well being division, town council or the licensing division reached out to my enterprise to get our enter. Bloomington’s small companies have a excessive compliance fee with tobacco gross sales legal guidelines, so why are the retailers being focused? These small enterprise house owners are really the final line of protection in conserving grownup merchandise out of the arms of minors.
These restrictive ordinances do little to curb entry to vapor merchandise and solely shift gross sales to neighboring communities. It’s not simply the lack of tobacco gross sales that may affect native comfort retailer house owners, however gasoline gross sales, grocery, snack and beverage gross sales will all be misplaced.
Cavalier feedback from bureaucrats, like “just change your business plan,” point out to me that they don’t perceive what it takes run a enterprise, help a household or signal a paycheck.
Bloomington, we’re your accomplice in conserving these authorized merchandise out of the arms of minors. We help all of the measures which are already in place. Let’s give these measures an opportunity to work earlier than taking drastic steps that may problem small enterprise proprietor’s skill to remain open simply as we’re popping out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Erickson is the proprietor of Normandale BP, 5150 W. 98th St., Bloomington.
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