Wakulla business owners concerned about flavored tobacco ban

Cigarettes and Gavel
Posted at 7:48 PM, Jan 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-22 15:40:35-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Ronald Crum, owns Crum's Mini Mart in Panacea, a store that sells just about everything...including tobacco products.

But now a county-wide ban on fruit-flavored or candy-flavored tobacco products could have an effect on how much money some businesses bring in.

"Probably totally depends on it and I mean it may be the issue of survival and non survival"

The ordinance would prohibit any stores who serve resident under 21 from selling flavored tobacco.

Flavored tobacco products like cans of snuff here, could be what's removed from shelves.

But store managers like Rhonda Land stopped ordering the products.

"What is going to happen with all that product left on your shelves you're going to be stuck with that inventory," said Land.

Meanwhile, some fear the products are advertised to children.

A sign says-- you “must be 18 or older” to purchase tobacco products is posted on the wall...Crum's employees scan the products, enter the birth date, and if they're too young an underage message pops up.

"They can't buy cigarettes here anyway, they can't buy any tobacco products," said Crum.

Wakulla County commissioners like Ralph Thomas say it'll be a tough decision to make.

"our goal is just to hear all the facts and try to come to a reasonable middle ground and just hope this is not an issue that divides our community," said Thomas.

The ban is scheduled to go in effect on February 1st depending on the board's decision on whether or not they'll be repealing the measure.