The Minneapolis, Minn. suburb of St. Louis Park has approved a ban on the sale of nearly all flavored tobacco products, a change that will go into effect next spring.
The ordinance got the unanimous support of the city council on Monday night, with exemptions carved out for menthol, mint, and wintergreen, which the city said “have been in regular use for many decades and are not directly marketed to youth.” It will go into effect on May 1, 2018, in order to give retailers time to sell off existing stock and prepare for the change.
Once the ban is in effect, retailers will face a violation of $500 for a first-time offense of selling a flavored tobacco product, escalating to $1,000 and a one-day suspension of their tobacco retailer license for a second violation within 36 months. A third violation in that time frame comes with a fine of $2,000 and a 30-day suspension of the license, while a fourth violation results in license revocation.
The approval comes on the heels of the city raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and nicotine delivery products from 18 to 21-years-old, a change that was approved in July and which went into effect on Oct. 1.
St. Louis Park is located immediately to the west of Minneapolis and is home to approximately 47,500 residents.