DULUTH, MN Derek Medved, owner of Gary Milk House convenient store said, “it will impact people greatly. It will impact me, it will impact a lot of businesses around the Northland.”If approved an ordinance put forth by the Duluth City Council would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in stores other than 18 plus businesses.Convenience store owners say that could be a major blow, taking nearly 30% of their revenue.Medved said it’s more than just customers that would be lost,”when you take that out of the equation, we’re talking about jobs, we’re talking about bigger things being lost.”It was a hot topic during Monday’s city council meeting as the chambers were filled with those supporting and opposing the proposal.Bob Bucci, manager of several Holiday Stores in Duluth spoke up and said, “we also need to consider the financial impact of the loss of revenue in the city is going to affect the labor pool.”A UMD student studying Public Health said, “I have also been a convenient store worker where I’ve seen youth come in at 18 19 years old and starting to buy these products knowing full well that they will be hooked on them for the rest of their lives.”Those opposed to the ordinance said it’s about customers rights to buy these products at convenient locations. They said if approved the City would be picking “winners” and “losers”, with the proposal directing customers to specific businesses.”I think this would be a step back for us and it would definitely be a step back for the City Council to make a decision like this and create a very weird atmosphere for business development in Duluth,” Medved said.But many members of a group named “Lethal Lure” say minors often get addicted to tobacco products by starting off smoking menthol or flavored products.”We therefore fully support an ordinance that limits youth exposure to flavored tobacco products and hope that the city of Duluth will join cities across the united states in their efforts to protect community members from potentially lifelong addiction and lethal disease,” said physician Mary Owen.Convenience store owners say they want to work with the council to come up with a solution that works best for all.Medved said, “the reason we’re all talking out against this ordinance is because were not the issue.
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