Convenience stores: FDA ban on menthol cigarettes would spur ‘rogue retailers’

Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle

A possible crack down on menthol cigarettes by the Food and Drug Administration could spur a new market for contraband smokes sold by “rogue retailers,” the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores is warning.

In July, the FDA launched a review of menthol cigarettes, saying “menthol cigarettes raise critical public health questions,” inviting public comment as to what actions it might take.

In a letter to the FDA made public Oct. 8, Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores, says an FDA crackdown could hurt the more than 2,500 stores in Georgia that the organization represents.

“Should a ban be implemented, we believe that a new market for contraband menthol cigarettes [would] be created and sold through non-regulated or rogue retailers. Our members already compete on the street with such operations and an expansion of their product mix would have negative economic impact on the legitimate retailers and their lawful sales.”

If menthol is banned or severely restricted, Tudor went on to say, “our members will be competing with a greatly expanded underground market for cigarettes.”

To read the full comments by the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores, click here.

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