St. Augustine takes up issue of flavored tobacco

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Augustine is the latest Florida city to take up the issue of selling flavored tobacco.

St. Augustine City Commissioners plan to vote Monday night on a resolution that would urge stores not to sell flavored tobacco.

Some anti-tobacco groups say the flavored tobacco is targeting youth and should not be sold.

However, some store clerks and managers say flavored tobacco is a big seller, and if sold to people of age, they'd like to continue selling it.

Mary Ann Steinberg with the Tobacco Free St. Johns County Partnership said the packaging can often look like candy.

Steinberg held a cigarello next to a package of Air Heads candy, "Here you have a popular common candy – Air Heads -- and so they'll package these products to look similar."

Some clerks such as Stuart Vaclivick of Carmelo's in St. Augustine doubt the resolution – which would not be an actual law -- will really prompt stores from taking flavored tobacco off the shelves.

"I don't think it's going to happen because it's to much sales," Vaclivick said. "Retailers would lose a lot of business that way."

Many counties in Florida have passed similar resolutions asking stores not to sell flavored tobacco. But seven have not, according to Steinberg, including St. Johns County.

First Coast News has learned St. Augustine Beach may be the next city in the area to consider a resolution dealing with flavored tobacco.


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