EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Massachusetts is just one day away from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products which includes menthol cigarettes.
On June 1, the state is banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products and menthol cigarettes, a new law in which Gov. Charlie Baker signed back in November.
Now just one day before the ban, convenience stores, and smoke shop owners are speaking out.
Zain Tahla, who owns multiple businesses including two smoke shops, said he will be losing out on a lot of revenue.
“You look at the year or month, I’m losing $5,000 to $6,000 a month,” he said.
He owns Zain’s Smoke Shop & Convenience Store.
On top of the loss of revenue, Tahla said his smoke shop was considered a nonessential business, therefore he claims he was not able to get relief from the state.
“How are we going to get any funding? We have to work seven days, and we were closed for the last two months, please give us some kind of relief,” he said. “How much relief do we have being stuck with the product?”
Now that Tahla was finally able to open his doors to sell the menthol products, there is not enough time to sell it all.
“I’m losing nearly $25,000 to $30,000 with all the flavored tobacco and menthol I have,” he said.
Tahla said with one of his smoke shops located in East Longmeadow minutes from the Connecticut border, he is fearful customers will cross over state lines to get their products, causing him to lose out on even more business.
“They are going to drive across the street and get it across the street,” he said. “It’s not like the state will prevent people or stop people from doing that and go across the street to get their menthol. Now it’s not like people aren’t going to stop smoking menthol.”