Reject flavored tobacco ban

To the Editor;

As a lifelong Maine resident it worries me to see that lawmakers are considering LD 1215,

a policy that could hurt Maine retailers, taxpayers and the state economy by banning the

sale of popular flavored tobacco and nicotine products.

I think a ban like this simply won’t work. People who use the products will still buy them – just

across the state border or from the black market. This happened in Massachusetts,

where cigarette sales jumped by 22 percent in neighboring New Hampshire in the first

12 months of the state’s flavor ban.

Losing out on these purchases could have a detrimental impact on our retail community

and the entire Maine economy by taking away a significant portion of sales and costing

the state approximately $24 million in tax revenue. The economic impact could be even

greater considering what happened with Massachusetts’ flavor ban, which saw the Bay

State lose more than $125 million in excise tax revenue in the first full year of the ban.

I believe LD 1215 will do little to improve public health, and instead remove a key source of

revenue for the state’s general fund. Lawmakers should reject this bill and move away

from expensive prohibition policies.

Jonathan Seavey


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