St. Paul plans $10 minimum price for cigarette packs

St. Paul, Minnesota, is considering imposing a $10 minimum price on cigarette packs.

St. Paul City Council is expected to consider the draft ordinance at a city council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, according to records from the council website.

The legislation would prohibit vendors from selling packs of cigarettes and chewing tobacco for less than $10 before taxes, according to its text. The legislation would also prohibit retailers from selling tobacco products with coupons, promotional offers or other discounts.

The bill also creates separate licenses for stores that strictly sell tobacco and reduces the number of such licenses from 242 to 150. The total number of tobacco product stores in the city will not exceed 25.

According to Pioneer pressthere are 190 active licenses.

Licensed stores should derive at least 90% of their revenue from licensed products and prohibit people under the age of 21 from entering their establishment. They must also have at least one person in charge of tobacco sales.

City council member Nelsie Yang, who sponsored the legislation, said MPR News that the legislation was intended to “heal our communities and take them back”.

“You know, by putting this in the hands of the people and letting them decide, do they want a community that revolves around health and safety and so much more? The answer is yes,” Yang said.

There is precedent for establishing such restrictions on tobacco. New York City sets a minimum price per pack of $13, while Providence, RI, prohibits discounts, MPR noted.

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