Store manager says the store will suffer if menthol cigarettes are banned

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Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) —

“Most of the cigarettes here we sell are menthol cigarettes,” Treq Awwad, manager at Exotic’s Smoke Shop, said.

That’s why he says banning them would be a bad idea too. The Biden Administration announced its intention to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. One store in Urbana says that could hurt business.

The FDA says about 20 million Americans smoke menthols. The FDA says that the menthol ban would lead to an additional 930,000 smokers to quit, but from a business standpoint, one shop in Urbana is not on board. The store manager told me banning menthol cigarettes would cut sales.

“I’m pretty sure the sales will drop down like maybe 30%. That would be for all the stores all kinds of places,” Awwad said.

His isn’t the only store in Champaign County. There’s about a dozen of them. The Biden Administration and FDA hope the ban would stop young people from starting smoking.

The FDA plans to introduce the new regulations in the coming year and ask for public comment, but that’s a process that could take years, and tobacco companies are expected to fight it.

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