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St. Paul follows Minneapolis in limiting sale of flavored tobacco

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You'll no longer be able to find fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products at convenience stores in St. Paul.

The city council voted unanimously Wednesday to restrict where these products could be sold, limiting them to adult-only tobacco shops, the Pioneer Press reports.

The city is also increasing the price of cigars to a minimum of $2.60 – it's the city's second price increase in two years, the Star Tribune notes.

"It's a big deal that we're going to make it harder for youth to access these products," City Council President Russ Stark said, according to KARE 11.

St. Paul City Council received numerous letters of support and opposition to this measure. The FDA notes flavored tobacco has a special appeal to children, and advocates told the city council that these products shouldn't be allowed where children can see them, WCCO reports.

“It’s going to send a strong message to the tobacco industry that their intent to appeal to kids is not going to be tolerated,” Council Member Dai Thao said, according to the Star Tribune.

Those who opposed the measure, including convenience stores and tobacco companies, said it would harm their business. A letter of opposition from Holiday station stores noted it would cut their business by 40 percent and customers would just go to other cities to buy the products.

The Minneapolis City Council passed a similar resolution last summer, which went into effect Jan. 1.

Candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes, which are known to have a special appeal for children, were banned by the FDA in 2009, according to the agency's website.

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