Proposed flavored nicotine ban countered by Cook County retail merchants

Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Cook County board members and Sheriff Tom Dart said tobacco and vaping products sold with flavors like candy and fruit are meant to entice children into using them, even though they're not supposed to. So, they want to ban such flavorings, as the City of Chicago voted to in 2020.

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) opposed that ban, and Chauncey Rice, IRMA's head of government relations, said they don't want this measure to pass either.

Rice said his organization agrees with the sponsors of the proposed Cook County ban on flavored nicotine products. Children should not smoke or vape, he said.

The problem Rice has with the proposal is that he believes there's a better way to stop children from smoking or vaping than a unilateral ban on flavored products. He said the ban will hurt legitimate retailers who fear losing vaping and tobacco customers.

“They don’t just come purchase the vape pens or the liquid nicotine," Rice said. "They come, they also grab a bag of chips, they may grab a bottle of water or what have you. That’s really the way retailers survive, are from those residual sales.”

He said accommodations can be made, though he didn't detail them. Rice did say the retailers hope to sit down and talk with the county commissioners about the proposal.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images