Law only hurts economy
This past legislative session, lawmakers passed a law that banned the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21. Now, lawmakers are considering a new proposal that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco -- including e-vapor, cigarettes, cigars, and dip -- for adults over 21.
As Chief Operations Officer of Rmarts. which leases, owns, develops and operates 13 gasoline and convenience stores throughout the Chicagoland suburbs, I work with small business owners, and I know firsthand the effect this would have on their businesses and the Illinois economy as a whole. Not only would this proposal put legitimate taxpaying jobs at risk, but it would jeopardize the $270 million in taxes generated in Illinois from the sales of menthol cigarettes alone.
Instead of focusing on legislation that would create a prohibition on these products, lawmakers must recognize that this type of tactic has failed time and again. Banning flavored tobacco products would prove no different and would simply create new black market demand for these products, increase the burden on law enforcement and shift profits away from businesses that have long supported the communities they serve.
Lawmakers must take a different approach and recognize that each time they pass these types of laws, grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations across the state lose business. Further, the communities they serve lose out on much-needed revenue.