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Ban on menthol cigarettes sends sales to black market, convenience store owners say

Convenience store owners already suffering from slow sales amid the coronavirus pandemic say a ban on menthol cigarettes has set the stage for a thriving black market “on every corner of the city.”



BOSTON, MA. - OCTOBER 8: BCSOA secretary Humayan Morshed speaking for convenience store owners at the State House on October 8, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts, shows screen grabs of undercover videos that shows illicit street sales of menthol cigarettes. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)


© Provided by Boston Herald
BOSTON, MA. – OCTOBER 8: BCSOA secretary Humayan Morshed speaking for convenience store owners at the State House on October 8, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts, shows screen grabs of undercover videos that shows illicit street sales of menthol cigarettes. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

“The biggest problem facing us right now is people going out of state, buying cigarettes, coming in front of stores and selling,” said Humayun Morshed, secretary of the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association.

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Massachusetts’ toughest-in-the-nation ban on flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen — went into effect on June 30, despite staunch opposition from store owners. The law

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Boston convenience store owner call for repeal of menthol cigarette ban

Boston convenience store owners are calling on state lawmakers to repeal the menthol cigarette ban and will release an undercover video on Thursday that they say shows widespread illicit sales of the cigarettes.



a close up of a box on a table: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: In this photo illustration, packs of menthol cigarettes sits on a table. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


© Provided by Boston Herald
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 15: In this photo illustration, packs of menthol cigarettes sits on a table. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Store owners will release the video on the State House steps, showing what they call illicit street sales of menthol cigarettes, as lawmakers hold an email-only hearing on a bill to temporarily repeal the state’s first-in-the-nation menthol ban.

The ban on menthol cigarettes and mint and wintergreen tobacco went into effect on June 30, despite staunch opposition from the association and others in communities of color, who warned lawmakers that it was racially biased and would create a new illicit market that would increase crime and

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