Minneapolis leaders may restrict menthol cigarette sales

The sale of menthol cigarettes in Minneapolis may soon be restricted to adult-only tobacco shops.

The city has an ordinance that limits other flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco shops. Council Member Cam Gordon says restricting menthols is the next step.

Anti-smoking advocates say a mint-flavored compound in the cigarettes that creates a cooling sensation makes it easier for teenagers to start smoking.

A 2014 report from the Minnesota Department of Health found that more than 40 percent of high school smokers used menthols.

A public hearing for a proposed ordinance to restrict methanol sales is scheduled for July 24.

If approved, Minneapolis would be the first city in the state to restrict menthol cigarette sales. San Francisco and Chicago have similar policies.