Menthol tobacco available only at tobacco and liquor stores

Menthol sales regulated like other flavored tobacco

As of Aug. 1, menthol tobacco is only available for sale in Minneapolis at tobacco products shops and off-sale liquor stores. The City Council voted a year ago to protect young people’s health by restricting sales of all flavored tobacco products including menthol, mint and wintergreen to tobacco product shops and off-sale liquor stores.

The new regulation on menthol, mint and wintergreen reduces availability of these products from 295 tobacco outlets to 29 tobacco products shops and 32 liquor stores. Sales of other flavored tobacco products have already been restricted to tobacco shops since 2016.

These changes are to prevent youth tobacco use, lifelong addiction to nicotine, the negative health effects of tobacco use and the tobacco-related health disparities between white populations and people of color.

Tobacco use is among the leading causes of death in the U.S. and Minnesota; in Hennepin County, one in seven adult deaths is attributed to smoking. The nicotine in tobacco products can also harm adolescent brain development.


Menthol is a chemical compound extracted from the peppermint or corn mint plant or created synthetically. Because of its numbing qualities, menthol is used in medicines and tobacco products to relieve throat irritation and produce a cooling feeling. Nearly half (44 percent) of high school tobacco users use menthol products.

Menthol tobacco is also easier to get addicted to because menthol increases nicotine absorption leading to a stronger addiction than non-menthol products. Many studies show that menthol users have higher nicotine dependence and smoking urge.

Find more information about what Minneapolis is doing to protect young people from tobacco.


Aug. 3, 2018

Published Aug 3, 2018



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