Countering Tobacco Industry Tactics on the Economic Costs of Restricting Menthol Tobacco (2020)

Authors: Kristen Ackert et al.

Localities around the country have begun to restrict the sale of menthol tobacco products, which are easier to start, disproportionately used by young people and are more difficult to quit.1 In 2017, Minneapolis and Saint Paul City Councils overcame significant opposition by the tobacco industry to restrict the sale of menthol tobacco to adult-only tobacco and liquor stores. Prior to the cities’ actions, the tobacco industry warned of catastrophic financial losses of between US$36.7 and US$39.9 million, as well as a loss of 630 jobs.2 In order to examine the potential economic cost of a menthol ordinance and the impact on the tobacco retailer market since implementation, researchers examined national and regional sales and profit trends for top retail categories as well as online convenience industry sources and the number of tobacco retailers in each city.

Read more: Tobacco Control