10/01/2015 10:40 EDT | Updated 10/01/2016 05:12 EDT

Alberta Menthol Ban Takes Effect

In this July 17, 2015 photo, store manager Stephanie Hunt lights a Marlboro cigarette while posing for photos at a Smoker Friendly shop in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
EDMONTON — In an effort to reduce the teen smoking rate, menthol tobacco products will no longer be sold in Alberta beginning today.

The ban was one of the first decisions made by the NDP government and has been applauded by anti-smoking groups.

However, some business owners say the ban will hurt their bottom line.

Gerry Ell of the Modern Family convenience store says generally his customers are unhappy with losing their menthol cigarettes.

He says some customers have been stocking up on menthol products in the last couple of weeks.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says she’s confident store owners will comply with the new rules.

“Our No. 1 driver is to ensure that we're keeping kids safe and enabling them to make healthy long-term decisions,” says Hoffman. “I'm really proud our government moved in that direction so quickly.”

According to the province, if a retailer sells a menthol product, the store could face a $500 fine. (CTV Edmonton)


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