Starting Oct. 1, the sale of flavored nicotine and vaping products will be restricted for sale to adult-only establishments. The flavor ban does not include menthol, wintergreen and mint.
Last week, following a public hearing on May 14, the Board of Health voted 3-0 to restrict the sales of flavored nicotine products. You must be 21 or over to purchase nicotine products.
The meeting room was filled with convenience store owners from Lynn and the surrounding area. Most believe the restriction will significantly cut into their businesses.
Mike Patel, who owns a convenience store next to the police station, said he stands to lose 35 to 40 percent of his business
“This is not good for business at all,” Patel said. “I think the businesses in Lynn will suffer.”
Nicotine is big business as proven by an email sent to store owners from a national cigarette company, which mistakenly advertised Tuesday meeting as a public hearing.
Joyce Redford, director of the North Shore/Cape Ann Tobacco control said now 69 percent of the population has a flavor ban or restriction over them.
“The CDC has said the flavors are used to entice teens,” she said. “Flavors were banned in tobacco products (cigars and cigarettes) in 2009 by the federal government. We’ve lost all that ground to e-cigarettes and JUUL.”
Board member Dr. John Streriti said vaping among the youth has become epidemic. Not only are the cartridges flavored and, they also are packed with addictive nicotine. The flavoring of e-cigarettes ranges from coconut to mango and bubblegum to blueberry, and the companies encourage young people to vape or smoke.
JUUL is one of the most popular vaping devices and is sold as a way to help adults quit smoking cigarettes, but this product is also the most popular among youth.
“They started making menthol cigarettes in 1932,” said Tony Patel, who owns several convenience stores in the area. “They legalize marijuana but they ban this. How are we going to bail out of 32 percent loss in revenue?”