A bill prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products is making its way through the state legislature. Representative Cedrick Frazier of New Hope places blame on the tobacco industry…

“We continue to play catch-up with a deadly industry that spends $100 million a year marketing their products in our state.”

But Tom Bryant with the Minnesota Wholesale Marketers Association says the bill is misguided and could have unintended consequences…

“Flavored tobacco products will shift from the state’s licensed and regulated system to sources where the state has no control, including an illicit market.”

Anti-tobacco advocates say the tobacco industry has used flavors–including methol–for decades to racially segment and target customers, especially Black Americans. And in particular, menthol tobacco addiction is the leading cause of disease and death in African Americans.