Boston Convenience Store Owners Association leads protest outside city hall.
Convenience store owners rallied outside Boston’s City Hall on the morning of Wednesday, March 30, to protest a citywide ban on selling flavored tobacco products.
Metro U.S. Online reported that Boston Public Health Commission voted unanimously in December raise the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21 and simultaneously restricted sales of flavored nicotine products to retailers that only accessible to adults. The move is said to be a way to prevent kids from starting to smoke by removing the allure of flavored tobacco products.
Boston Convenience Store Owners Association (BCSOA) led the protest. BCSOA leaders told Metro U.S. Online they support other tobacco reforms like the 21-plus law, but not the ban on flavored products.
“You can go into a liquor store and buy a flavored nip – candy, gummy bear-flavored nip – if you’re 21. But if you’re 21 and you’re an adult and you want to smoke a vanilla-flavored cigar, you can’t do that,” Luis Blanco, the group’s spokesman and owner of the Don Quijote Market in the South End told Metro U.S. Online. “That’s what we’re fighting for, to be on an even playing field.”