On average tobacco sales at a typical gas station/convenient store make up about 36% of their sales after gasoline. According to industry sales data if a state decided to ban all types of flavored tobacco products, which would include menthol cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vapor products and moist chewing tobacco their store would lose about $84,000 a year in income.
Executive director of NATO Thomas Briant says, “The business model for a convenience store relies on gasoline sales at the outside pumps, plus in-store tobacco sales,” Briant says. This significant decline in net income will be exacerbated because of the loss of other product sales … when adult customers drive a short distance to an adjacent city to buy their preferred tobacco products and make other purchases.
Menthol related tobacco products got a major break in 2009 when lawmakers decided to exempt it from banned cigarette flavors in the Tobacco Control Act. This exemption hindered on future research being done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which eventually would support a menthol ban. The FDAs findings are still being battled in court.
The main goal is to get these products out of the hands of minors or those 18 and younger. There is a proposed 21 year old law being bandied about for some states and to many in the industry the 21 year old age limit has not been in effect long enough to help deter younger people from smoking.
More news is surely to follow concerning menthol cigarettes and their possible ban.